Allogeneic tumor cell vaccination

The present invention relates to cancer immunotherapy, specifically to allogeneic tumor cell vaccines. According to some embodiments, the invention provides novel cell lines useful as therapeutic cell vaccine compositions. The invention further provides advantageous screening methods and means for identifying patients amenable for treatment with partially Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched allogeneic cell vaccines. Therapeutic compositions and methods for use in proliferative disorders are further provided.

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Description

The Sequence Listing submitted in text format (.txt) filed on Feb. 23, 2016, named “SequenceListing.txt”, created on Feb. 23, 2016, 30.6 KB), is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cancer immunotherapy, specifically to allogeneic tumor cell vaccines, and provides therapeutic and diagnostic compositions and methods for use in proliferative disorders.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cell vaccines are prepared from tumor cell lines that are cultured in vitro. The vaccine product is designed to contain one or more antigens that are unique to cells; some preparations also contain “adjuvants” thought to enhance the immunogenicity of the preparation.

Whole cell vaccines have several advantages for tumor immunity. They are composed of a large array of antigens, identified ones as well as not yet defined ones, and they are relatively easy to produce. The inventors previously showed that an autologous vaccine of dinitrophenyl (DNP)-modified melanoma cells, improved disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in post-operative high risk adjuvant patients who successfully attained anti-melanoma reactivity as detected by positive delayed type hypersensitivity reactions to unmodified melanoma cells (Lotem et al., 2009). One drawback of the autologous vaccine is the fact that cancer patients often lack an available source of tumor for the growth of tumor cell lines. A vaccine derived from allogeneic tumor cell lines could overcome this obstacle. This approach led in the past to the production of an allogeneic vaccine that compared favorably with the adjuvant effect of maximally-tolerated doses of interferon alpha (Mitchell et al., 2007), with significantly lower treatment-related toxicity.

Most allogeneic vaccines used thus far did not take into consideration the need for HLA (human leukocyte antigen molecules) matching between the tumor of the donor and the recipient (Chapman et al., (2007). HLA antigens play a crucial role in presenting peptides derived from self and foreign proteins in a form that is recognized by T cells. Thus, matching the HLA phenotype of the donor cells and the recipient is essential for efficient cell-mediated cytotoxicity in response to vaccine treatment. In the absence of HLA compatibility, vaccines rely for their immune effect on the mediation of secondary antigen presenting cells (APC) to process and present antigens in conjunction with the host's HLA. Antigen presentation by APC may favor CD4 responses, inducing regulatory T cells side by side with helper T cell populations (Morelli et al., 2006). Nevertheless, it should be noted that APC presentation may also facilitate CD8 responses.

Various approaches for developing tumor cell vaccines have been disclosed. For example, EP2404614 discloses a composition for stimulating an immune response in patients having different types of cancer comprising a combination of allogeneic tumor cells and/or tumor stem cells that are selected on the basis of secreting at least one immunosuppressive agent, e.g., TGF-β, and that are genetically modified to reduce or inhibit the expression of said at least one immunosuppressive agent, and that collectively express a spectrum of tumor associated antigens, and a physiologically acceptable carrier.

US Patent Publication No. 2010/055136 discloses a composition for the treatment or prevention of a tumor, comprising: (i) allogeneic or xenogeneic tumor cells; (ii) a lysate of a syngeneic tumor cell; and (iii) a pharmaceutically acceptable excipient.

US Patent Publication No. 2010/119537 discloses a method of producing a protective immune response in a human subject comprising administering to the subject an effective amount of lung cancer cells transfected with a eukaryotic expression vector derived from the bovine papilloma virus comprising a nucleic acid encoding CD80 (B7.1) and with a eukaryotic expression vector derived from the bovine papilloma virus comprising a nucleic acid encoding an HLA antigen.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,882,654 discloses a pharmaceutically acceptable polyvalent melanoma cell composition for injection, the composition comprising viable cells of one or more allogeneic melanoma call lines which cells have been rendered incapable of proliferation in vivo and which provide to the composition an amount of melanoma associated antigens effective to stimulate an antitumor immune response, the composition including the specific melanoma associated antigens GD2 ganglioside, GM2 ganglioside, M-TAA, M-fetal antigen and M-urinary antigen in amounts effective to stimulate an immune response against each of said specific antigens.

WO9003183 discloses an immunotherapeutic melanoma tumor vaccine comprising: a melanoma cell lysate produced from allogeneic melanoma tumor cells; and an adjuvant comprising a refined detoxified endotoxin and at least one biological immunostimulant selected from the group consisting of mycobacterial cell wall skeleton, trehalose dimycolate, pyridine soluble extract of a microorganism, and mixtures thereof.

Initial attempts to develop allogeneic cell vaccines for clinical use in melanoma patients have been reported. Specifically, polyvalent melanoma whole cell vaccines have been evaluated (Morton et al., 1992; Morton et al., 2002; Barth et al., 1994; Bystryn et al., 1992). Hoon et al. report the survival data of melanoma patients receiving a polyvalent melanoma cell vaccine comprising three irradiated cell lines. The publication reports that expression of the HLA B35 by the recipient patients was correlated with a poor survival outcome following vaccination (Hoon et al., 1998). A genetically modified allogeneic cancer vaccine, GVAX, has been developed by Cell Genesys. GVAX is an allogeneic cancer vaccine composed of lethally irradiated whole cancer cells that are genetically modified to secrete granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This platform is currently undergoing multiple clinical trials. Initial clinical results with Canvaxin, a polyvalent, whole-cell vaccine derived from three melanoma cell lines were encouraging, demonstrating prolonged survival in a subset of patients receiving the vaccine (Morton et al. 1992, 2002). However, phase III study of Canvaxin versus Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) closed prematurely after interim analysis (Riker et al., 2007). Thus, additional means for improving the efficacy of tumor cell vaccines including melanoma cell vaccines are clearly required.

There remains an unmet medical need for providing improved immunotherapy for treatment of proliferative disorders, specifically metastatic cancer. Development of new and effective whole cell vaccines, and of assays useful for selecting patients that are likely benefit from treatment with such vaccines, would be highly advantageous.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cancer immunotherapy, specifically to allogeneic tumor cell vaccines. According to some embodiments, the invention provides novel cell lines useful as therapeutic cell vaccine compositions. The invention further provides advantageous screening methods and means for identifying patients amenable for treatment with partially Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched allogeneic cell vaccines. Therapeutic compositions and methods for use in proliferative disorders are further provided.

The invention is based, in part, on the surprising discovery of a positive correlation between a favorable disease outcome and a specific HLA phenotype, in cancer patients receiving allogeneic tumor cell vaccines. The present invention discloses the survival data of forty two melanoma patients at high risk for disease recurrence who received an allogeneic vaccine composed of a combination of three melanoma cell lines, each matching at least one allele of the recipient's HLA-A and -B loci. Surprisingly, patients bearing HLA-B35 had significantly better overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) than those bearing other HLA alleles (OS of 100% and DFS of 90% versus 56% and 23% respectively for the non-B35 patients).

Consequently, the invention is further based, in part, on the development and isolation of novel cancer cell lines that advantageously express the B35 HLA allele, having particularly favorable properties for use as whole cell cancer immunotherapy. These cells display unique profiles of HLA alleles and tumor associated antigens (TAA) at high expression levels, and have enhanced immunogenicity compared to other cell lines. In addition, embodiments of the invention are further based in part on the unexpected discovery that genetically modified melanoma cells displaying HLA B35 and A2 and expressing a 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL) transgene, showed an improved ability to stimulate tumor infiltrating lymphocytes as determined by IFN-γ secretion.

A first aspect of the invention is directed to methods for assessing or evaluating the prognosis of a subject afflicted with cancer following allogeneic tumor cell vaccination, and of identifying subjects amenable for treatment with allogeneic tumor cell vaccination. The methods according to this aspect comprise assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, wherein the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype indicates a favorable disease outcome following allogeneic tumor cell vaccination.

Thus, according to some embodiments there is provided a method for predicting a favorable disease outcome following an allogeneic tumor cell vaccination, which method for predicting comprises assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in a sample of the subject, wherein the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype indicates a favorable disease outcome following vaccination.

According to other embodiments provided is a method for identifying a subject that will respond therapeutically to a method of treating cancer comprising administering one or more tumor cell lines allogeneic to the subject, which method for identifying comprises: determining the expression of the B35 HLA allele in a sample obtained from said subject, wherein expression of the B35 HLA allele indicates that said subject will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer.

According to embodiments of these methods said subject may be afflicted with a carcinoma, optionally a metastatic carcinoma. In a particular embodiment the subject is afflicted with melanoma.

The method of treating or tumor cell vaccination may be affected by administering to said subject one or more cell lines that are allogeneic to said subject. In some embodiments, the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. According to alternate or additional embodiments, the one or more cell lines further express at least one HLA allele that is not identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. In other embodiments, the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In further embodiments, the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and A2 alleles. According to additional embodiments, said one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL). In other embodiments, the one or more cell lines are selected from the novel tumor cell lines of the invention as described hereinbelow.

In another embodiment, the invention relates to a method of treating cancer in a subject in need thereof, comprising identifying the subject that will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer (or a subject predicted to have a favorable disease outcome following an allogeneic tumor cell vaccination) as defined herein, and administering to said subject an immunogenic composition comprising one or more tumor cell lines allogeneic to said subject. In certain embodiments, the one or more cell lines are selected from the novel tumor cell lines of the invention as described hereinbelow.

The invention relates, in another aspect, to novel tumor cell lines having advantageous properties for use as tumor cell vaccines and immunogenic therapeutic compositions for adjuvant cancer treatment. The novel tumor cell lines of the invention include cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 as detailed hereinbelow, and cell lines derived therefrom that may stably express additional exogenous HLA alleles and/or co-stimulatory surface molecules, as described herein. Advantageously, the tumor cell lines of the invention may further express HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and/or 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL).

In one embodiment there is provided a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 said cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602. In another embodiment, said cell line further expresses (e.g. exogenously) the HLA-A2 antigen. In a particular embodiment, said cell line further expressing the HLA-A2 antigen is designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604. In another embodiment said cell line further expresses (e.g. exogenously) 4-1BBL.

In another embodiment there is provided a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1 MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO, said cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601. In another embodiment said cell line further expresses 4-1BBL.

In another embodiment there is provided a carcinoma cell line expressing HLA alleles A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1, said cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605. In another embodiment, said cell line further expresses the HLA-A2 antigen. In another embodiment said cell line further expresses 4-1BBL.

In another embodiment the invention provides an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec, said cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603. In another embodiment, said cell line further expresses the HLA-A2 antigen. In another embodiment said cell line further expresses 4-1BBL.

In another embodiment there is provided an immunogenic composition comprising as an active ingredient at least one tumor cell line of the invention, and optionally pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, excipients, adjuvants and/or diluents. It is to be understood, that the compositions of the invention that are formulated for human cancer therapy, including therapeutic and vaccine compositions, are produced such that the administered cells are irradiated, chemically attenuated or otherwise incapable of proliferating in the body of the human recipient.

In another aspect there is provided a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, said therapeutic composition comprising one or more cell lines allogeneic to the subject, wherein at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject, and wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and HLA-A2 alleles and 4-1BBL, said composition further comprising one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

The composition may comprise at least two cell lines allogeneic to said subject. Optionally, at least one of said cell lines may expresses at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1. According to particular embodiments, the at least one of said cell lines may be a tumor cell line of the invention as defined herein.

In another aspect there is provided a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, said therapeutic composition comprising at least two allogeneic cell lines, wherein at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject, and wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome, said composition further comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

The methods of the invention advantageously utilize tumor cell lines expressing at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In one embodiment said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602. In another embodiment, said cell line further expresses the HLA-A2 antigen. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigen A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens, PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a lung metastasis carcinoma cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec. In a particular embodiment said cell line is an ovary carcinoma cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

The therapeutic compositions according to the invention may further comprise an additional therapeutic agent.

According to certain other aspects, the invention relates to a method of treating cancer, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof an immunogenic (or therapeutic) composition of the invention, thereby treating cancer in the subject. According to certain other aspects, the invention relates to a method of enhancing an immune response to a tumor in a subject in need thereof, said method comprising administering to the subject an immunogenic (or therapeutic) composition of the invention, thereby enhancing the immune response in said subject.

In some embodiments, the cancer may be a carcinoma, e.g. a metastatic carcinoma including, but not limited to melanoma, ovarian carcinoma and lung carcinoma.

In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele that is not identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need, and endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and A2 alleles. In another embodiment said one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL). According to particular embodiments, the method comprises administering to said subject at least one of cell lines of the invention as defined herein. In another embodiment, the method comprises administering to said subject a therapeutic composition of the invention as defined herein. In another embodiment said cell lines further expresses at least one tumor antigen or any peptides or fragments thereof. In another embodiment at least one of said cell lines optionally endogenously or exogenously expresses a co-stimulatory or otherwise enhancing molecule.

In another aspect the invention provides a method for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, wherein said method comprise the step of administering to said subject a therapeutically effective amount of at least two allogeneic cell lines, or of any composition comprising the same, wherein at least one of said cell lines expressed at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject and wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

In one embodiment said proliferative disorder is a malignant disorder, said disorder is any one of melanoma, carcinoma, leukemia, sarcoma, myeloma and lymphoma. In a particular embodiment said malignant disorder is melanoma.

In another embodiment said method leads to an increase of at least one of the OS (overall survival) and DFS (disease free survival) of said subject. In another embodiment said method leads to the activation of CD8-mediated cytotoxic response against said proliferative disorder in said subject.

In another embodiment said at least one of said cell lines express at least one HLA antigens and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In another embodiment said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3. In a particular embodiment said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20. In another embodiment said cell line further expresses the HLA-A2. In a particular embodiment said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20-A2.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigen A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens, PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1. In a particular embodiment, said cell line is a lung metastasis carcinoma cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In another embodiment, said cell line expresses the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec. In a particular embodiment said cell line is an ovary carcinoma cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

In another embodiment said subject expresses the B35 HLA allele. In another embodiment the method further comprises the step of assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, and if said subject displays the B35 HLA phenotype, administering said composition to said subject.

In another aspect the invention relates to a combination of at least two allogeneic cell lines for use in treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases in a subject in need thereof, wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA B35 allele, and wherein at least one of said cell lines expressed at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. In some embodiments, said cell lines are tumor cell lines of the invention as defined herein.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become clear from the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A-1C: Correlation of HLA phenotype and disease outcome. FIG. 1A: correlation of overall survival and HLA-B35. FIG. 1B: correlation of disease free survival and HLA-B35. FIG. 1C: correlation of OS and HLA-B07. Full line: patients not expressing the allele; dotted line: patients expressing the allele.

FIG. 2: Melanoma associated antigens in cell line SH-M-20. FIG. 2 shows staining of the SH-M-20 cell line for the indicated different melanoma associated antigens, using the alkaline phosphatase anti alkaline phosphatase (APAAP) reaction. Brown/gray (if submitted black and white) color indicate positive staining.

FIG. 3A-3B: Characterization of SH-M-20 melanoma cell line antigen expression. FIG. 3A: FACS analysis of High Molecular Weight Melanoma Associated Antigen (histogram I) and HLA-A, B, C (histogram II) expression. Filled histogram is secondary antibody (Ab) only. FIG. 3B: FACS analysis of Melanoma Cell Surface Antigen (MCSA, histogram I) and CD146 (histogram II) expression on SH-M-20 melanoma. Histogram III is secondary Ab only.

FIG. 4: Characterization of SH-M-20, SH-O-30 and SH-M-21 cell lines. Expression of MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1 cancer-testis antigens in SH-O-30, SH-M-21 and SH-M-20 cells examined by RT-PCR.

FIG. 5: Characterization of in vivo tumor formation of the SH-M-20 cell line. The Figure shows outcome of mice injected with SH-M-20 cells admixed 1:1 with or without matrigel.

FIG. 6: FACS analysis of HLA A2 expression on SH-M-20-A2 cell lines. Histogram II shows a clear expression of the HLA-A2 antigen and histogram I shows background staining (secondary Ab only).

FIG. 7: Specific lysis of cells expressing exogenously the HLA-A2 antigen, by TILs specific for A2. The Figure demonstrates specific lysis of cells which exogenously express HLA-A2 antigen (SH-M-20-A2), by TILs derived from HLA-A*0201 melanoma patients. Cells which do not express the HLA-A2 antigen were not lysed by the specific TILs.

FIG. 8: Analysis of IFN-γ secretion in SH-M-20-A2 cell versus SH-M-20 cells. The Figure shows secretion of IFN-γ by TIL's derived from HLA-A2+ melanoma patients, that were co-cultured with cells which express or with cells which do not express the HLA-A2 antigen.

FIG. 9: CD137 expression on CD4 lymphocytes following in vitro simulation with melanoma. The right column presents the phenotype and activity of lymphocytes following stimulation in the presence of autologous (bottom) or irrelevant (top) melanoma. The middle column shows in vitro expanded cells in the absence of melanoma. The left column serves as control. Anti-CD137 antibody is labeled with APC and anti-CD4 antibody is labeled with FITC.

FIG. 10: CD137 expression on CD8 lymphocytes following in vitro simulation with melanoma. Right column is the phenotype and activity of lymphocytes following stimulation in the presence of autologous (bottom) or irrelevant (top) melanoma. Middle column is in vitro expanded cells in the absence of melanoma. Left column serves as control. Anti-CD137 antibody is labeled with APC and anti-CD8 antibody is labeled with FITC.

FIG. 11: IFN-γ secretion by patient-derived PBMC following in vitro stimulation with melanoma. Histograms show IFN-γ secretion by lymphocytes stimulated with melanoma (bottom), expanded in vitro in the absence of melanoma (middle) or control uncultured lymphocytes (top). Clear bars indicate irrelevant melanoma and black bars represents autologous melanoma.

FIGS. 12A-B: Stable expression of HLA-A2 transgene in ovary SH-O-30.10 and gastric SH-L-40 cell lines. FIG. 12A—SH-O-30.10 derived lines. FIG. 12B—SH-L-40 derived lines.

FIGS. 13A-B: Functional assessment of HLA-A2 transgene in SH-O-30.10-A2 (a) and SH-L-40-A2 clones by flow cytometry.

FIG. 14. Functional assessment of HLA-A2 transgene in SH-O-30.10-A2 (a) and SH-L-40-A2 clones by interferon gamma (IFNγ) ELISA.

FIG. 15. Improved immunogenicity of SH-M-20-A2 cells with pcDNA3.1-4-1BBL and detection of surface 4-1BBL by flow cytometry.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cancer immunotherapy, specifically to allogeneic tumor cell vaccines. The present invention discloses the survival data of forty two melanoma patients at high risk for disease recurrence who received an allogeneic vaccine composed of a combination of three melanoma cell lines, each matching at least one allele of the recipient's HLA-A and -B loci. The partial HLA class I matching may direct activation of T cells by the vaccine, without the need for antigen presenting cell mediation.

The present invention shows a significant correlation between the B35 phenotype and improved survival of melanoma patients.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide allogeneic vaccination comprising a combination of allogeneic cell line expressing the HLA-B35 phenotype for the adjuvant treatment of proliferative disorders, specifically, metastatic cancer.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a partially HLA-matched allogeneic melanoma vaccine for the adjuvant treatment of high risk melanoma patients.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved immunotherapy treatment for metastatic melanoma patients.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a partially HLA-matched allogeneic epithelial cell vaccine for the adjuvant treatment of high risk carcinoma patients providing an improved immunotherapy treatment for metastatic carcinoma patients, specifically, lung and ovary carcinoma.

It was previously shown that an adjuvant autologous cell vaccine is associated with improved survival in high-risk melanoma patients who develop strong delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to unmodified melanoma cells (Lotem et al., 2002). The present invention provides according to some embodiments a vaccine comprising of tumor cell lines which is administered to subjects with unavailable autologous tumor, by the use of HLA-matched melanoma cell lines. Embodiments of the present invention relate to a vaccine comprising three cell lines, each matching the recipient's HLA-A and -B loci, with at least one identical allele. Without wishing to be bound by a theory or mechanism of action, the partial HLA class I matching may allow direct activation of T cells by the vaccine, without the need for antigen presenting cell mediation.

HLA-B35 is one of the largest B serotype groups; it currently has 97 known nucleotide variants and 86 polypeptide isoforms. HLA-B35 is present in 10-40% of Caucasoid populations and 30% of Israeli Jews (http://www.allelefrequencies.net). The B35 phenotype is correlated with expression of certain specific TAA epitopes, including those derived from gp100, tyrosinase, MAGE-3, NY-ESO-1, cytochrome P450 1B1 and survivin (Vigneron et al., 2005; Morel et al., 1999; Schultz et al., 2001; Bioley et al., 2009; Kvistborg et al., 2008; Reker et al., 2004).

Noteworthy, it was previously shown that melanoma patients expressing the HLA B35 phenotype had a poor survival outcome following mismatched allogeneic vaccination (Hoon et al., 1998).

As indicate above, in contrast to the prior publication, the inventors surprisingly found a correlation between a favorable disease outcome and the B35 HLA phenotype. This advantage was not due to one particularly immunogenic donor line, as patients were vaccinated with different cell lines with the B35 phenotype (Table 5). The correlation between the B35 phenotype and improved survival described in this invention, in the context of the correlation between this phenotype and cytotoxic responses against melanoma, enhances the critical role of CD8-mediated cytotoxicity in the outcome of melanoma.

The invention provides novel cell lines useful as therapeutic cell vaccine compositions. The invention further provides advantageous screening methods and means for identifying patients amenable for treatment with partially Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched allogeneic cell vaccines. Therapeutic compositions and methods for use in proliferative disorders are further provided.

These and other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

Definitions

The “Human Leukocyte Antigen” or “HLA” represents the human major histocompatibility (MHC) system. Generally, MHC systems control a range of characteristics: transplantation antigens, thymus dependent immune responses, certain complement factors and predisposition for certain diseases. More specifically, the MHC codes for three different types of molecules, i.e. Class I, II and III molecules, which determine the more general characteristics of the MHC.

HLA antigens (HLA molecules) corresponding to MHC class I (A, B and C) present peptides from inside the cell (including viral peptides if present). These peptides are produced from digested proteins that are broken down in the proteasomes. The peptides are generally small polymers, about 9 amino acids in length. HLA class I molecules are recognized by CD8 T-cells, which are the principal effector cells of the adaptive immune response.

HLA antigens corresponding to MHC class II (DP, DM, DOA, DOB, DQ and DR) present antigens from outside of the cell to T-lymphocytes. These particular antigens stimulate T-helper cells to multiply, and these T-helper cells then stimulate antibody-producing B-cells to produce antibodies to that specific antigen. Self-antigens are suppressed by suppressor T-cells.

MHC class II molecules are HLA-DP, HLA-DM, HLA-DOA, HLA-DOB, HLA-DQ and HLA-DR, and are mainly expressed on the surface of antigen presenting cells (APCs), the most important of which appears to be the dendritic cells. APCs stimulate naïve T-cells, as well as other cells in the immune system. Specifically, they stimulate both CD8 T-cells and CD4 T-cells.

HLA antigens corresponding to MHC class III encode components of the complement system.

Sequences for MHC class I antigens, including, but not limited to HLA-A2 and HLA-B35, are known in the art, and may be found in publicly available databases, such as NCBI, e.g. at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/viewer.fcgi?db=nucleotide&val=375 18361.

As used herein the term “endogenously” means that the specific HLA antigen or any enhancing molecule has been produced or synthesized from within an organism or a tissue or a cell. The term “exogenously” means that this antigen or enhancing molecule has been introduced from outside of the cell or tissue. More specifically, the specific HLA antigen may have been introduced to the cells by a transfection, specifically, a stable transfection.

The term “transfection” as used herein refers to the introduction of a transgene into a cell. The term “transgene” as used herein refers to any nucleic acid sequence which is introduced into the genome of a cell by experimental manipulations. Transfection may be accomplished by a variety of means known to the art including calcium phosphate-DNA co-precipitation, DEAE-dextran-mediated transfection, polybrene-mediated transfection, electroporation, microinjection, liposome fusion, lipofection, retroviral infection, biolistics (i.e., particle bombardment) and the like. According to certain embodiments, viral vectors (e.g. retroviral vectors) may be used for stably transfecting e.g. an HLA or co-stimulatory molecule into epithelial carcinoma cells of the invention.

The term “stable transfection” refers to the introduction and integration of a transgene into the genome of the transfected cell. Transient transfection refers to the introduction of one or more transgenes into a transfected cell in the absence of integration of the transgene into the host cell's genome. A cell stably expresses an endogenous gene product, or an exogenous gene product as a result of stable transfection of the corresponding nucleic acid sequence encoding the product.

In the context of the present invention the term “allogeneic” means that the tumor cells are derived from an individual who is different from the individual to whom the cell lines according to the present invention shall be later administered.

More specifically, in the context of the present invention the term “allogeneic cell lines” further comprises cell lines, including e.g., tumor cell lines, or cell lines or cultures from primary material and the like, which are not originating from the individual to which the cells shall be administered.

The term “tumor-associated antigen” refers to any protein, peptide or antigen associated with (carried by, expressed by, produced by, secreted by, etc) a tumor or tumor cell(s). Tumor-associated antigens may be (nearly) exclusively associated with a tumor or tumor cell(s) and not with healthy normal cells or may be over expressed (e.g., 2 times, 5 times, 10 times, 50 times, 100 times, 1000 times or more) in a tumor tissue or tumor cell(s) compared to healthy normal tissue or cells. More particularly, a tumor-associated antigen is an antigen capable of being presented (in processed form) by MHC determinants of the tumor cell. Hence, tumor-associated antigens are likely to be associated only with tumors or tumor cells expressing MHC molecules.

The composition of the present invention is intended for the treatment of a proliferative disorder, specifically, a malignant disorder. As used herein to describe the present invention, “proliferative disorder”, “cancer”, “tumor” and “malignancy” all relate equivalently to a hyperplasia of a tissue or organ. If the tissue is a part of the lymphatic or immune systems, malignant cells may include non-solid tumors of circulating cells. Malignancies of other tissues or organs may produce solid tumors. In general, the compositions and methods of the present invention may be used in the treatment of non-solid and solid tumors.

The term “cancer” or “cancer cell” is used herein to denote a tissue or cell found in a neoplasm which possesses characteristics which differentiate it from normal tissue or tissue cells.

Overall survival (OS) as used herein is defined as the percentage of patients who survived at a given time after surgery to remove their tumor. In this case, the Kaplan-Meier curve simply represents the x % of patients survived after y amount of time.

Disease-free survival (DFS) is defined as the percentage of patients staying free of disease at a given time after surgery to remove their tumor. In this case, the Kaplan-Meier curve simply represents the x % of free of disease patients surviving after y amount of time.

As used herein “pharmaceutically acceptable carrier” includes any and all solvents, dispersion media, coatings, antibacterial and antifungal agents and the like. The use of such media and agents for pharmaceutical active substances is well known in the art. Except as any conventional media or agent is incompatible with the active ingredient, its use in the therapeutic composition is contemplated.

“Administering” means the actual physical introduction of the composition into or onto (as appropriate) the host. Any and all methods of introducing the composition into the host are contemplated according to the invention; the method is not dependent on any particular means of introduction and is not to be so construed. Means of introduction are well-known to those skilled in the art, and also are exemplified herein.

By “cell lines derived therefrom” is meant “variants” or “sub-clones” of the cell line. A “variant” of such cell line is meant to refer to a naturally occurring cell line by different passages or different treatments. These variants and sub-clones are functionally similar to the original cell line.

By “functionally similar” is meant having same biological function, for example, having identical ability to induce an immune response directed against malignancy, and expressing essentially the same tumor specific antigens.

Diagnostic and Prognostic Assays

The invention relates in some embodiments to methods for assessing or evaluating the prognosis of a subject afflicted with cancer following allogeneic tumor cell vaccination, and of identifying subjects amenable for treatment with allogeneic tumor cell vaccination. The methods according to this aspect comprise assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, wherein the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype indicates a favorable disease outcome following allogeneic tumor cell vaccination.

According to some embodiments there is provided a method for predicting the likelihood a subject will respond therapeutically to a method of treating cancer comprising administering a therapeutic composition comprising as an active ingredient one or more allogeneic cell lines, wherein the method for predicting comprises determining the expression of the B35 HLA allele in said subject, wherein expression of the B35 HLA allele in said subject indicates an increased likelihood said subject will respond therapeutically to said method of treating cancer.

The invention is further directed to an in vitro method for predicting the likelihood a subject will respond therapeutically to a method of treating cancer comprising immunization with allogeneic tumor cells, which method for predicting comprises: determining the presence of the B35 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) allele in a biological sample of said subject, wherein the presence of the B35 HLA allele indicates an increased likelihood said subject will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer.

In other embodiments, there is provided a method for identifying a subject that will respond therapeutically to a method of treating cancer comprising administering a therapeutic composition comprising as an active ingredient one or more allogeneic cell lines, wherein the method for identifying comprises determining the presence of the B35 HLA allele in said subject (e.g. in a biological sample of said subject), wherein the presence of the B35 HLA allele in said subject indicates that said subject will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer.

In another embodiment, the invention provides a method for selecting a cancer therapy, comprising determining in vitro the presence of HLA B35 in a sample (e.g. a cell-containing fluid sample obtained non-invasively), and if the sample comprises HLA B35, selecting a cancer therapy comprising immunization with a partially HLA matched tumor cell vaccine.

In another embodiment, there is provided a method for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, comprising:

    • a) assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, and
    • b) if said subject displays the B35 HLA phenotype, administering to said subject one or more allogeneic cell lines or a composition comprising same, thereby preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in said subject.

According to some embodiments, the subject is afflicted with cancer such as a carcinoma, e.g. metastatic carcinomas including but not limited to melanoma, ovarian carcinoma, colon carcinoma and lung carcinoma, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In a particular embodiment, the subject is afflicted with melanoma.

In one embodiment, the method of treating cancer, cancer therapy, immunization or allogeneic tumor cell vaccination comprises administering to said subject a partially HLA-matched allogeneic epithelial cell vaccine. In a particular embodiment, the vaccine is a partially HLA-matched allogeneic melanoma vaccine. In another particular embodiment, the vaccine is a partially HLA-matched metastatic carcinoma vaccine, e.g. lung or ovary carcinoma. In another embodiment, the method of treating cancer, cancer therapy, immunization or allogeneic tumor cell vaccination comprises administering to said subject one or more allogeneic cell lines. In another embodiment, the method of treating cancer, cancer therapy, immunization or allogeneic tumor cell vaccination comprises administering to said subject a therapeutic composition comprising as an active ingredient at least two allogeneic cell lines, wherein at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need, and at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome and optionally a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

In another embodiment, the one or more cell lines (e.g. the at least two cell lines) express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele that is not identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need, and endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and A2 alleles. In an additional embodiment said one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL). In another embodiment, said one or more cell lines are selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, as defined herein, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. It is to be understood, that the administered cells are irradiated, chemically attenuated or otherwise incapable of proliferating in the body of the human recipient.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises administering to said subject a therapeutic composition of the invention. In one embodiment the method comprises administering to said subject a therapeutic composition comprising as an active ingredient at least two allogeneic cell lines, wherein at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need, and at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome and optionally a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

In another embodiment, the one or more cell lines (e.g. the at least two cell lines) express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele that is not identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need, and endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and A2 alleles. In an additional embodiment said one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL). In another embodiment, said one or more cell lines are selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, as defined herein, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. It is to be understood, that the administered cells are irradiated, chemically attenuated or otherwise incapable of proliferating in the body of the human recipient.

In another embodiment, said cell line(s) further expresses at least one tumor antigen or any peptides or fragments thereof. In another embodiment, at least one of said cell lines optionally endogenously or exogenously expresses a co-stimulatory or otherwise enhancing molecule.

Assessing or determining the presence or expression of the B35 HLA phenotype or allele collectively relate to examining HLA types, which may be effected by a variety of methods well known in the art. A genetic allele can be detected by direct detection of regions/nucleotides within the allele using genomic DNAs prepared from biosamples, e.g., blood, saliva, urine or hair. The allele or its product can also be detected by, for example, serological or microcytotoxicity methods. It also can be determined by detecting an equivalent genetic marker of the allele, which can be, e.g., an SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism), a microsatellite marker or other kinds of genetic polymorphisms.

The presence of a genetic marker (e.g., an HLA allele) can be determined by direct detection of that marker or particular regions within it. Genomic DNAs for allele detection can be prepared from a patient by methods well known in the art, e.g., PUREGENE DNA purification system from Gentra Systems, Minnesota. Detection of a region within a genetic marker of interest includes examining the nucleotide(s) located at either the sense or the anti-sense strand within that region. Methods known in the art can be used to detect a particular region, e.g., Sequence specific oligonucleotides-hybridization, Real-time PCR, or CSSO-ELISA (M. Hiratsuka et al, J. of Biochemical and Biophysic. Methods, 67:87-94, 2006). For example, DNA typing for HLA may be performed by reverse polymerase chain reaction with sequence-specific oligo probe (reverse PCR-SSOP).

There are two parallel systems of nomenclature that are applied to HLA. The, first, and oldest system is based on serological (antibody based) recognition. In this system, antigens were eventually assigned letters and numbers (e.g., HLA-B35 or, shortened, B35). A parallel system that allowed more refined definition of alleles was developed. In this system, a “HLA” is used in conjunction with a letter * and four-or-more-digit number (e.g., HLA-B*08:01, A*68:01, A*24:02:01 N N=Null) to designate a specific allele at a given HLA locus. In a particular embodiment, HLA-B35 as used herein may refer to HLA-B*3501.

HLA typing (e.g. serotyping) may be performed on blood or sera samples diluted to optimal sensitivity and used to type cells using specific antibodies. HLA cellular typing may be performed e.g. by the mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) assay, and is used to determine the HLA class II types. Gene sequencing methods known in the art may also be used to determine the presence of HLA alleles in genomic DNA. Phenotyping or gene typing is different from gene sequencing and serotyping. With this strategy, PCR primers specific to a variant region of DNA are used (called SSP-PCR), a product of the appropriate size indicates that the HLA allele has been identified. For example, SSP-PCR within the clinical situation is often used for identifying HLA phenotypes.

Suitable assays, probes, PCR primers and antibodies for determining HLA types are commercially available, and may also readily designed and manufactured by a skilled artisan, particularly in view of the sequences of the corresponding HLA alleles, gene products and genomic regions provided herein.

Suitable samples for use in the methods of the invention may be obtained from a variety of sources. These samples may be diluted or purified as necessary for the particular assay used. Conveniently, the samples may be obtained by non-invasive methods. For example, suitable DNA samples may be obtained from peripheral blood, saliva, urine, or hair of the patient. Other suitable samples for assessing the presence or expression of HLA alleles are RNA samples, protein samples, cell samples, or serum samples. As used herein a “sample of a subject” refers to a suitable biological sample useful for determining the HLA types of the subject as described herein.

The term “treating” concerns improvement of at least one undesired manifestation of the disease such as: increase in disease free periods, decrease in acute disease periods (in time and severely), decrease in severity of the disease, improvement in life quality, decreased mortality, decrease in the rate of disease progression as well as prophylactic treatment before disease occurs. Accordingly, a favorable disease outcome (or a subject responding therapeutically to a treatment) refers to the outcome of a treatment resulting in an improvement of at least one undesired manifestation of the disease as described above. Improvement refers to a clinically recognized improvement, which may be statistically significant and/or recognized by a person of skill in the art (e.g. physician).

In another aspect there is provided a method for predicting a favorable disease outcome following an allogeneic tumor cell vaccination, which method for predicting comprises assessing the presence of the B35 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) phenotype in a sample of the subject, wherein the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype indicates a favorable disease outcome following vaccination.

In one embodiment said subject is afflicted with melanoma. In another embodiment tumor cell vaccination comprises administering to said subject one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously expressing the HLA-B35 allele.

In another aspect there is provided a method for identifying a subject that will respond therapeutically to a method of treating cancer comprising administering one or more tumor cell lines allogeneic to the subject, which method for identifying comprises: determining the expression of the B35 HLA allele in a sample obtained from said subject, wherein expression of the B35 HLA allele indicates that said subject will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer.

In one embodiment said subject is afflicted with melanoma.

In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines express at least one HLA allele that is not identical to the HLA alleles of said subject.

In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and A2 alleles. In another embodiment said one or more cell lines endogenously or exogenously express 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL).

In another embodiment the one or more cell lines is a tumor cell line selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

In another embodiment the invention provides a method of treating cancer in a subject in need thereof, comprising identifying the subject that will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer by determining the expression of the B35 HLA allele in a sample obtained from said subject, wherein expression of the B35 HLA allele indicates that said subject will respond therapeutically to the method of treating cancer, and administering to said subject an immunogenic composition comprising one or more tumor cell lines allogeneic to said subject. In another embodiment the one or more cell lines is a tumor cell line selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

Cells

As indicated above three melanoma cell lines (SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2 and SH-M-21), one lung carcinoma cell line (SH-L-40) and one ovary carcinoma cell line (SH-O-30) were deposited in the European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) Health Protection Agency, (Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 OJG, United Kingdom), a Depositary Institution according to the provisions of the Budapest Treaty, as described in Table 1, as follows:

TABLE 1 Deposited cell lines Date of Deposit Cell line deposit Number SH-M-20 26.5.2011 11052602 SH-M-20-A2 26.5.2011 11052604 SH-M-21 26.5.2011 11052601 SH-L-40 26.5.2011 11052605 SH-O-30 26.5.2011 11052603

The deposits are available as required by foreign patent laws in countries wherein counterparts of the subject application, or its progeny, are filed. However, it should be understood that the availability of the deposits does not constitute a license to practice the subject invention in derogation of patent rights granted by a governmental action.

Further, the cell line deposits were stored and made available to the public in accord with the provisions of the Budapest Treaty for the Deposit of Microorganisms, i.e., they were stored with all the care necessary to keep them viable and uncontaminated for a period of at least five years after the most recent request for the furnishing of a sample of a deposit, and in any case, for a period of at least thirty (30) years after the date of deposit or for the enforceable life of any patent which may issue disclosing the cultures. The depositor acknowledges the duty to replace the deposit(s) should the depository be unable to furnish a sample when requested, due to the condition of a deposit. All restrictions on the availability to the public of the subject culture deposits will be irrevocably removed upon the granting of a patent disclosing them.

The invention provides, in another aspect, a tumor cell line selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

In one embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment said tumor cell line expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In one embodiment the cells stably express at least one of HLA-B35 and HLA-A2. In another embodiment the cells stably express 4-1BBL and at least one of HLA-B35 and HLA-A2. For example, cells described herein may express HLA-B*35:01, HLA-A*02:01 and 4-1BBL.

According to some embodiments, the use of cell lines of the invention is preferred over other cell lines as they exhibit enhanced immunogenicity, patient compatibility and/or therapeutic efficacy.

The present invention further provides melanoma cell lines expressing different HLA antigens as well as different tumor associated antigens. These cell lines include cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2 and SH-M-21 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604 and 11052601 respectively, and cells derived therefrom.

In certain embodiments, the use of SH-M-20 and cells derived therefrom such as SH-M-20-A2 is preferred, as they display enhanced immunogenicity compared to other melanoma cell lines. For example, SH-M-20 was found to be more immunogenic than SH-M-21.

The present invention further provides a lung carcinoma cell line expressing different HLA antigens and tumor associated antigens. A particular embodiment of such cell line is the cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

The SH-L-40 deposited under the accession number 11052605 was further characterized as a carcinoma cell line established from lung metastasis of gastric/colon origin.

The present invention further provides an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing different HLA antigens and tumor associated antigens. A particular embodiment of such cell line is the cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

These cells may further express an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecules.

In one embodiment, the cells stably express HLA-B35.

In another embodiment, the cells stably express HLA-A2.

The term “HLA-B35” may refer to any gene product, defined as HLA-B35 in the 14th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop, 2005. The following B-35 alleles are known: B*35:01, B*35:02, B*35:03, B*35:04, B*35:05 (B35-G), B*35:06 (B35-K), B*35:07, B*35:08, B*35:25, B*35:28, B*35:29 (B*KG), B*35:30, B*35:32 (B*TMUL) and B*35:36. The most common allele is the B*35:01 allele, and thus most subjects identified as having HLA-B35 bear the B*35:01 allele.

The term “HLA-A2” may refer to any gene product, defined as HLA-A2 in the 14th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop, 2005. The following A-2 alleles are known: A*02:01, A*02:02, A*02:03, A*02:04, A*02:05, A*02:06 (A2.4A), A*02:07, A*02:08, A*02:09, A*02:10, A*02:11 (A2.5), A*02:12, A*02:13 (A*02SLU), A*02:16, A*02:17, A*02:18 (A2K), A*02:19, A*02:20, A*02:21, A*02:31, A*02:34 (A*AAT), A*02:35, A*02:36 and A*02:37. The most common allele is the A*02:01 allele, and thus most subjects identified as having HLA-A2 bear the A*02:01 allele.

Thus, cells of the invention which may be used in the compositions and methods described herein may optionally express HLA-B*3501 and/or HLA-A*0201.

A number of molecules have been identified which function to further enhance and extend the activation of T cells. Costimulatory molecules (or co-stimulatory molecules for T cells) including CD28:B7, 4-1BBL, CD40, OX40L and CD70 were identified as being capable in conjunction with the TCR:MHC:Ag stimulus to induce high levels of IL-2 production from T cells. 4-1BB:4-1BBL are members of the TNF-TNF ligand family, which are expressed on T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs), respectively.

The human homologue of 4-1BB (CD137, also designated Tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 9) resides on chromosome 1p36 and contains about 255 amino acids (aa) with two potential N-linked glycosylation sites (Cheuk et al., Cancer Gene Therapy (2004) 11, 215-226). Therapies utilizing the 4-1BB:4-1BBL signaling pathway have been examined in a number of model systems. Antitumor potential of 4-1BBL was demonstrated in certain systems, particularly in combination with other co-stimulatory molecules such as B7-1 and/or B7-2 (Cheuk et al., 2004).

According to certain embodiments of the present invention 41-BBL was found to have therapeutic advantages in the context of the specific compositions and methods of the invention, as it was found to enhance the immunogenicity of transfected cells expressing HLA-B35 and HLA-A2 to specifically activate their the respective T cells, while other co-stimulatory molecules such as CD40 variants did not.

Thus, cells of the invention may optionally express HLA-B*3501, HLA-A*0201 and 41-BBL.

In another embodiment, there is provided a method of producing an immunogenic tumor cell line useful in the preparation of a tumor cell vaccine, the method comprising transfecting the cell with at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 41-BBL so as to produce an immunogenic tumor cell line stably expressing HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 41-BBL.

The cells of the invention may be engineered to express exogenous sequences such as HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 41-BBL by a variety of transfection methods known in the art. Exemplary methods for producing such cells are provided in the Examples section below. According to particular embodiments as described in the Examples, viral vectors, particularly vectors comprising retroviral long terminal repeats (LTR), were found to be particularly effective in producing epithelial cell lines stably expressing HLA antigens such as HLA-A2.

There is provided a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 said cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602. The cell line may further express the HLA-A2 antigen, said cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

There is provided a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO said cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

There is provided a carcinoma cell line expressing HLA alleles A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1 said cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

There is provided an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec said cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

There is also provided an immunogenic composition comprising as an active ingredient at least one tumor cell line according to any one of the cell lines described herein.

Expression Vectors and Recombinant Methods

The preparation of expression constructs or vectors used for delivering and expressing a desired gene product are known in the art. An isolated nucleic acid sequence can be obtained from its natural source, either as an entire (i.e., complete) gene or a portion thereof. A nucleic acid molecule can also be produced using recombinant DNA technology (e.g., polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloning) or chemical synthesis (see e.g. Sambrook et al., 2001, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, New York; Ausubel, et al., 1989, Chapters 2 and 4). Nucleic acid sequences include natural nucleic acid sequences and homologs thereof, including, but not limited to, natural allelic variants and modified nucleic acid sequences in which nucleotides have been inserted, deleted, substituted, and/or inverted in such a manner that such modifications do not substantially interfere with the nucleic acid molecule's ability to encode a functional gene product.

The construct may also comprise other regulatory sequences or selectable markers, as known in the art. The nucleic acid construct (also referred to herein as an “expression vector”) may include additional sequences that render this vector suitable for replication and integration in prokaryotes, eukaryotes, or optionally both (e.g., shuttle vectors). In addition, a typical cloning vector may also contain transcription and translation initiation sequences, transcription and translation terminators, and a polyadenylation signal.

In addition to the elements already described, the expression vector of the present invention may typically contain other specialized elements intended to increase the level of expression of cloned nucleic acids or to facilitate the identification of cells that carry the recombinant DNA. For example, a number of animal viruses contain DNA sequences that promote the extra chromosomal replication of the viral genome in permissive cell types. Plasmids bearing these viral replicons are replicated episomally as long as the appropriate factors are provided by genes either carried on the plasmid or with the genome of the host cell.

The vector may or may not include a eukaryotic replicon. If a eukaryotic replicon is present, then the vector is amplifiable in eukaryotic cells using the appropriate selectable marker. If the vector does not comprise a eukaryotic replicon, no episomal amplification is possible. Instead, the recombinant DNA integrates into the genome of the engineered cell, where the promoter directs expression of the desired nucleic acid.

Examples for mammalian expression vectors include, but are not limited to, pcDNA3, pcDNA3.1(+/−), pGL3, pZeoSV2(+/−), pSecTag2, pDisplay, pEF/myc/cyto, pCMV/myc/cyto, pCR3.1, pSinRep5, DH26S, DHBB, pNMT1, pNMT41, and pNMT81, which are available from Invitrogen, pCI which is available from Promega, pMbac, pPbac, pBK-RSV and pBK-CMV, which are available from Strategene, pTRES which is available from Clontech, and their derivatives. These may serve as vector backbone for the constructs useful in embodiments described herein.

Expression vectors containing regulatory elements from eukaryotic viruses such as retroviruses can be also used. SV40 vectors include pSVT7 and pMT2, for instance. Vectors derived from bovine papilloma virus include pBV-1 MTHA, and vectors derived from Epstein-Barr virus include pHEBO and p2O5. Other exemplary vectors include pMSG, pAV009/A+, pMTO10/A+, pMAMneo-5, baculovirus pDSVE, and any other vector allowing expression of proteins under the direction of the SV40 early promoter, SV40 later promoter, metallothionein promoter, murine mammary tumor virus promoter, Rous sarcoma virus promoter, polyhedrin promoter, or other promoters shown effective for expression in eukaryotic cells. These may serve as vector backbone for the constructs of the present invention.

As described above, viruses are very specialized infectious agents that have evolved, in many cases, to elude host defense mechanisms. Typically, viruses infect and propagate in specific cell types. The targeting specificity of viral vectors utilizes its natural specificity to specifically target predetermined cell types and thereby introduce a recombinant gene into the infected cell. Thus, the type of vector used by the present invention will depend on the cell type transformed. The ability to select suitable vectors according to the cell type transformed is well within the capabilities of the ordinarily skilled artisan and as such, no general description of selection considerations is provided herein. For example, bone marrow cells can be targeted using the human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) and kidney cells may be targeted using the heterologous promoter present in the baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), as described by Liang, C. Y. et al. (2004). High efficiency gene transfer into mammalian kidney cells using baculovirus vectors. Arch Virol 149, 51-60.

Recombinant viral vectors are useful for in vivo expression of the genes of the present invention since they offer advantages such as lateral infection and targeting specificity. Lateral infection is inherent in the life cycle of retrovirus, for example, and is the process by which a single infected cell produces many progeny virions that bud off and infect neighboring cells. The result is the rapid infection of a large area of cells, most of which were not initially infected by the original viral particles. This is in contrast to vertical-type infection in which the infectious agent spreads only through daughter progeny. Viral vectors can also be produced that are unable to spread laterally. This characteristic can be useful if the desired purpose is to introduce a specified gene into only a localized number of targeted cells.

Retroviral-derived vectors include e.g. lentiviral vectors. “Lentiviral vector” and “recombinant lentiviral vector” are derived from the subset of retroviral vectors known as lentiviruses. Lentiviral vectors refer to a nucleic acid construct which carries, and within certain embodiments, is capable of directing the expression of a nucleic acid molecule of interest. The lentiviral vector includes at least one transcriptional promoter/enhancer or locus defining element(s), or other elements which control gene expression by other means such as alternate splicing, nuclear RNA export, post-translational modification of messenger, or post-transcriptional modification of protein. Such vector constructs must also include a packaging signal, long terminal repeats (LTRS) or portion thereof, and positive and negative strand primer binding sites appropriate to the lentiviral vector used (if these are not already present in the retroviral vector). Optionally, the recombinant lentiviral vector may also include a signal which directs polyadenylation, selectable markers such as Neo, TK, hygromycin, phleomycin, histidinol, or DHFR, as well as one or more restriction sites and a translation termination sequence. By way of example, such vectors typically include a 5′ LTR, a tRNA binding site, a packaging signal, an origin of second strand DNA synthesis, and a 3′LTR or a portion thereof.

“Lentiviral vector particle” may be utilized within the present invention and refers to a lentivirus which carries at least one gene of interest. The retrovirus may also contain a selectable marker. The recombinant lentivirus is capable of reverse transcribing its genetic material (RNA) into DNA and incorporating this genetic material into a host cell's DNA upon infection. Lentiviral vector particles may have a lentiviral envelope, a non-lentiviral envelope (e.g., an ampho or VSV-G envelope), or a chimeric envelope.

Pharmaceutical Compositions

According to further aspects, the invention relates to compositions, particularly cell vaccine and immunogenic whole cell compositions, useful in the treatment of proliferative disorders. The compositions of the inventions comprise at least one cell line (e.g. two or more cell lines) that are allogeneic to the subject to which the composition is to be administered.

Cancer cell vaccine may constitute live (but non-replicating), or killed cancer cells from the individual to be treated or from another cancer entirely. The vaccine also may be a cancer cell extract or purified vaccine preparation derived from cancer cells. Cancer cell vaccines are well known in the art and may be prepared in accordance with well-known methods.

Typically, a composition (e.g. a cancer cell vaccine) of the invention is a whole cell preparation, comprising irradiated or otherwise attenuated (non-replicating) cell lines, or killed tumor cell lines. In addition, the composition typically comprises cell lines which are at least partially HLA matched with the recipient subject. Thus, at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. In certain embodiments, the composition is a partially HLA matched vaccine, i.e. comprises cell line(s) that express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need and at least one HLA allele not identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. Furthermore, typically and advantageously, at least one of the cell lines in the composition endogenously or exogenously expresses the HLA-B35 allele. According to specific embodiments, at least one of said cell lines may endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-A2 allele and/or 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL). For example, the composition may contain cells expressing HLA-B*35:01, HLA-A*02:01 and 4-1BBL. The invention refers in particular to cancer treatment comprising the use of these compositions, and to methods of predicting the efficacy of such cancer treatment comprising correlating the presence of the B35 allele with an enhanced therapeutic efficacy, as detailed herein.

In addition to the active ingredient, e.g. the non-proliferating tumor cell line, the composition of the invention optionally further comprises pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant and/or additive.

The compositions of the invention may be used for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

According to one aspect there is provided a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, said therapeutic composition comprising one or more cell lines allogeneic to the subject, wherein at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject, and wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and HLA-A2 alleles and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), said composition further comprising one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

In one embodiment, said composition comprises at least two cell lines allogeneic to said subject.

In another embodiment said at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03125, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In another embodiment, at least one of said cell lines is a tumor cell line is selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment said tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment said tumor cell line expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

In another aspect there is provided a composition comprising a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 said cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602. Said cells may further express the HLA-A2 antigen said cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

In another aspect there is provided a composition comprising a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO said cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In another aspect there is provided a composition comprising a carcinoma cell line expressing HLA alleles A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1 said cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In another aspect there is provided a composition comprising an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec said cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

Yet another aspect of the present invention relates to a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject. The therapeutic composition according to this aspect comprises as an active ingredient at least two allogeneic cell lines. It should be noted that at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. Furthermore, at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome. The composition optionally further comprises pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

Cancer vaccines are a heterogeneous group of treatments attempting to modulate immune response against neoplastic disorders. The type of peptides, proteins, gangliosides and adjuvants in the vaccine determines the nature of antigen processing, presentation and costimulation, and can change immune response from a tolerogenic effect to immunogenic stimulation. The embodiments described herein provide compositions combining tumor cell lines, specifically melanoma cell lines with compatible HLA class I haplotypes, together with dinitrophenyl (DNP) and the powerful adjuvant Bacille Calmete Guerin (BCG) that act together to generate protective immunity, as reflected in the survival data presented in this invention.

Thus, according to one aspect, the present invention relates to a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject. The therapeutic composition of the invention comprises as an active ingredient at least two allogeneic cell lines. It should be noted that at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject in need. Furthermore, at least one of the cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome. The composition further comprises pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive.

The composition according to this aspect comprises as an active ingredient a combination of allogeneic cell lines.

The allogeneic cell line comprised in the composition of the invention express at least one HLA-antigen matching the recipient's HLA-A and B loci, with at least one identical allele. In various embodiments, the cell line has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 HLA alleles identical to those of the subject.

As mentioned above, at least one of the allogeneic cell lines used for the composition of the invention may endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome. It should be noted that in certain embodiments, cell lines expressing (endogenously or exogenously) the HLA-B35 allele may be particularly effective in treating patients expressing a matching HLA-B35 allele. In yet further specific embodiments, such patients may be specifically melanoma patients.

However, it should be noted that in other alternative embodiments, cell lines expressing the matching HLA-B35 allele may be used for treating patient that do not express a matching HLA-B35 allele. In other embodiments, cells expressing said allele may be used for treating patients suffering from any proliferative disease, for example, lung carcinoma or ovary carcinoma.

In yet another embodiment, at least one allogeneic cell line used by the composition of the invention may endogenously or exogenously express any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

It should be noted that in certain embodiments, an improved outcome is meant any increase, elevation, enhancement of at least one of the OS (overall survival) and DFS (disease free survival) of the treated subject.

It should be noted that an improvement may include an increase of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% of at least one of, the OS and DFS of the treated subject as compared to untreated control. It should be further noted that improvement of the outcome may also include, in certain embodiments, a decrease in the mortality or in the tumor progression. The terms decrease, reduction, attenuation, include a decrease of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control.

According to one embodiment, the composition of the invention may comprise at least two allogeneic cell lines. In certain embodiment the composition may comprise between about 2 to 50 different cell lines more specifically, about 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 different cell lines.

According to another embodiment, the said cell lines comprised within the composition of the invention may further express at least one tumor associated antigen (TAA) or any peptides or fragments thereof. Specifically, the cell lines should express at least one TAA known to be associated with the treated disease for the recognition of the antigens by the cytotoxic T cells.

According to one embodiment, at least one of the cell lines used for the composition of the invention optionally endogenously or exogenously expresses the HLA A2 antigen.

In yet another embodiment, at least one of the cell lines optionally endogenously or exogenously expresses a co-stimulatory or otherwise enhancing molecule. Non-limiting examples for such enhancing molecules may include 4-1BBL, OX40L B7-1, B7-2 (Sharpe et al., 2009).

In one specific embodiment, such proliferative disorder may specifically be a malignant disorder for example; melanoma, carcinoma, leukemia, sarcoma, myeloma and lymphoma, wherein each possibility represent a separate embodiment of the invention. According to additional embodiments of particular interest, the disorder is colon or gastric carcinoma.

More specifically, it should be appreciated that in particular embodiments, the composition of the invention may be used for the treatment or inhibition of non-solid cancers, e.g. hematopoietic malignancies such as all types of leukemia, e.g. acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), mast cell leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, Burkitt's lymphoma and multiple myeloma, as well as for the treatment or inhibition of solid tumors such as head and neck tumors, tumors in lip and oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses, major salivary glands, thyroid gland, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, colorectum, anal canal, liver, gallbladder, extraliepatic bile ducts, ampulla of vater, exocrine pancreas, lung, pleural mesothelioma, bone, soft tissue sarcoma, carcinoma and malignant melanoma of the skin, breast, vulva, vagina, cervix uteri, corpus uteri, ovary, fallopian tube, gestational trophoblastic tumors, penis, prostate, testis, kidney, renal pelvis, ureter, urinary bladder, urethra, carcinoma of the eyelid, carcinoma of the conjunctiva, malignant melanoma of the conjunctiva, malignant melanoma of the uvea, retinoblastoma, carcinoma of the lacrimal gland, sarcoma of the orbit, brain, spinal cord, vascular system, hemangiosarcoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. Each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. It should be recognized that melanoma, lung carcinoma and ovary carcinoma are of specific interest.

In yet another particular embodiment, the composition of the invention is specifically applicable for the treatment of melanoma.

The term melanoma includes, but is not limited to, melanoma, metastatic melanoma, melanoma derived from either melanocytes or melanocyte-related nevus cells, melanocarcinoma, melanoepithelioma, melanosarcoma, melanoma in situ, superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, lentigo maligna melanoma, acral lentiginoous melanoma, invasive melanoma or familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome. Such melanomas may be caused by chromosomal abnormalities, degenerative growth and developmental disorders, mitogenic agents, ultraviolet radiation (UV), viral infections, inappropriate tissue gene expression, alterations in gene expression, or carcinogenic agents. The aforementioned melanomas can be treated by the method and the composition described in the present invention.

It should be appreciated that certain embodiments of the invention involve the use of a composition comprising at least one allogeneic cell line that endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele. In particular embodiments, such compositions may be specifically efficient in treating patients expressing a matching HLA-B35 allele. In yet further particular embodiments, such compositions may specifically be used for HLA-B35 allele expressing melanoma patients.

According to other specific embodiments of the invention, the allogeneic cell lines used for treating melanoma patients may include any of the tumor cell lines established by the invention. In particular embodiment, such cell lines may include for example the following melanoma cell lines of the invention: SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2 or SH-M-21, or any cell line derived therefrom.

In yet another specific embodiment, the composition of the invention may be specifically applicable in the treatment of Lung Carcinoma. According to another embodiment, the composition of the invention may be specifically applicable in the treatment of carcinoma lung metastases.

According to such specific embodiment, the allogeneic cell lines used for treating lung carcinoma patients may include any of the tumor cell lines established by the invention. In particular embodiment, such composition may comprise the lung carcinoma cell line, SH-L-40, established by the invention or any cell line derived therefrom.

In yet another specific embodiment, the composition of the invention may be specifically applicable in the treatment of Colon or Gastric Carcinoma. According to another embodiment, the composition of the invention may be specifically applicable in the treatment of metastatic Colon or Gastric Carcinoma, and particularly to colon or gastric carcinoma with lung metastases.

According to such specific embodiment, the allogeneic cell lines used for treating colon or gastric carcinoma patients may include any of the tumor cell lines established by the invention. In particular embodiment, such composition may comprise the carcinoma cell line, SH-L-40, established by the invention or any cell line derived therefrom.

In yet another specific embodiment, the composition of the invention may specifically be applicable for the treatment of Ovary Carcinoma.

According to such specific embodiment, the allogeneic cell lines used for treating ovary carcinoma patients may include any of the tumor cell lines established by the invention. In particular embodiment, such composition may comprise the ovary carcinoma cell line, SH-O-30, established by the invention or any cell line derived therefrom.

As will be described in the Examples of the present invention, the 5-year 75% overall survival of the vaccinated patients in this series is higher than reported for the non-treatment group in melanoma patients (55.7% 4 year OS for resectable AJCC stage III (Eggermont et al., 2008) or a median OS of 64 months for stage IIB, IIC and III patients (Pectasides et al., 2009), compared to mean OS of 70 months in the current invention, as a median was not yet reached. In recent years, some discouraging results from adjuvant melanoma vaccine trials were reported. In the ECOG study 1694, the arm treating with a vaccine against ganglioside GM2 was associated with inferior survival rates compared to the interferon alpha-2b arm (Kirkwood et al., 2001), and a phase III study of polyvalent allogeneic vaccine versus BCG (Canvaxin) closed prematurely after interim analysis.

As indicated above, the composition of the invention comprises at least one allogeneic tumor cell line. In a specific embodiment, the tumor cell lines may be allogeneic cells expressing at least one MHC Class I HLA-A. Such HLA-A antigen may be for example any one of HLA-A01, HLA-A02, HLA-A03 (also designated HLA-A1, HLA-A2 and HLA-A3, respectively), HLA-A24, HLA-25, HLA-A26, HLA-A28, HLA-A29, HLA-A30, HLA-A32, HLA-A33, HLA-A33/2, and HLA-A66, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In specific embodiments, the cells express an MHC Class I HLA species selected from the group consisting of HLA-A2, HLA-A24, HLA-A33/2, HLA-A03, HLA-A25, HLA-A26, and HLA-A28. In specific embodiment, cell lines of the invention may express the HLA-A2.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be allogeneic cells expressing at least one MHC Class I HLA-B molecule. Such HLA-B molecule may be any of the following: HLA-B08, HLA-B08/18, HLA-B3, HLA-B7, HLA-B8, HLA-B14, HLA-B15, HLA-B18, HLA-B35, HLA-B38, HLA-B41, HLA-B49, HLA-B52, HLA-B5 and HLA-B70 wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In specific embodiments, the allogeneic cells express at least one MHC Class I HLA species selected from the group consisting of HLA-B3, HLA-B35, HLA-B49 and HLA-B08/18. In specific embodiment, the allogeneic cells of the invention may express the MHC class I HLA-B35.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines are allogeneic cells expressing at least one MHC Class II HLA-DR molecule including any of the following: HLA-DRB1, HLA-DRB01 and HLA-DRB104, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

In another embodiment, the tumor cell line expresses one or more tumor associated antigens. Tumor associated antigens (TAA) are known in the art and may be identified by a variety of known methods. Conveniently, TAA expression on a tumor cell may be identified by the designation of the antibodies commonly used for their detection. Table 2 summarizes some of the TAA expressed by tumor cells of the invention:

TABLE 2 Tumor Associated Antigens Antigen Full name/description Reference/accession number GD3 GD3 ganglioside, Nasi et al. Melanoma Res. 1997 identified by the R24 Aug; 7 Suppl 2: S155-62. antibody S-100 S100 Ca2+-binding Identified by Dako anti-S100 antibody proteins Cat. No. N1573 HMB45 melanoma-associated Acc. No. P40967. antigen gp100 http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P40967 (Melanocyte protein PMEL), identified by monoclonal antibody HMB45 (Invitrogen) Melan Melanoma antigen Uniprot: Q16655. Identified by Dako A/MART-I recognized by T-cells 1 antibody clone A103, Cat. No. M7196 (LB39-AA). HMW High Molecular Weight - Acc. No. NM_001897 Melanoma-Associated http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/ Antigen, also known as NM_001897.4 Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 or melanoma-associated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan MSCA Melanocyte Cell Surface Identified by Serotec mAb clone Antigen 60442007 CD146 Melanoma antigen, also Acc. No. P43121 known as http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P43121 melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) or cell surface glycoprotein MUC18 MAGE-A1 Melanoma-associated Acc. No. P43355 antigen 1, also known as http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P43355 Cancer/testis antigen 1.1 MAGE-A3 Melanoma-associated Acc. No. P43357 antigen 3, also known as http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P43357 Cancer/testis antigen 1.3 NY-ESO-1 Cancer/testis antigen 1, Acc. No. P78358 also known as http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P78358 Autoimmunogenic cancer/testis antigen NY- ESO-1 CEA Carcinoembryonic Acc. No. P06731 antigen-related cell http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P06731 adhesion molecule 5 (CD66e) PAN Cytokeratin filaments of Recognized by Invitrogen anti- cytokeratin epithelial cells, expressed cytokeratin mAb Clone: AE1/AE3 in epithelial cancers (Cat. No. 08-4132). Ca-125- Ovarian carcinoma Acc. No. Q8WXI7 sec antigen CA125, also http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/Q8WXI7 known as Mucin16, was detected by ELISA in supernatant of cultured tumor cells CEA-sec The secreted form of CEA See CEA above (Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5) was detected by ELISA in supernatant of cultured tumor cells CA15-3- Cancer Antigen 15-3, a Duffy MJ. Ann Clin Biochem. sec tumor marker used to 1999; 36: 579-86. monitor certain cancers, especially breast cancer. Was detected by ELISA in supernatant of cultured tumor cells MUC-1 Mucin 1 (MUC1, CD227), Acc. No. P15941 expressed in epithelial http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P15941 cancer

In a specific embodiment the tumor cell lines are allogeneic cells expressing at least one tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be a melanoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be a carcinoma cell line expressing HLA alleles A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1.

In further useful embodiments, the tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec.

These cells may further express an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecules.

In yet another specific embodiment, the cell lines comprised within the composition of the present invention may express at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

More specifically, the cell line used in the composition of the present invention, may express the HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3. In particular, the cell line provided by the invention may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602.

According to another embodiment, the cell line comprised within the composition of the present invention, may further express the HLA-A2 antigen. Such cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

In a further embodiment, the composition of the invention may comprise a cell line expressing the HLA antigen A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO. More specifically, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In yet another embodiment the cell line comprised within the composition of the invention may express the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens, PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1. In particular, the cell line may be a lung carcinoma cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In another embodiment, the composition of the invention may comprise the cell line expressing the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec. Specifically, the cell line may be an ovary carcinoma cell line designated SH-0-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

The tumor cell lines used by the composition of the invention may be preferably prepared from allogeneic tumor cell lines selected from the group consisting of SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-L-40 and SH-O-30 deposited under ECACC Accession Nos. 11052602, 1105604, 11052601, 11052605 and 11052603, respectively, or any cell lines derived therefrom.

Tumor cell lines for use in preparation of vaccines and immunogenic compositions may be obtained and prepared using well known methods. Established tumor cell lines may be used, e.g. the particularly preferred cell lines described herein, or may be raised from tumor biopsies. For example, cells can be obtained by disrupting biopsies by chemical (enzymatic) or physical methods (such as disruption or filtering). Cells can also be obtained from a cell suspension (fresh or cryopreserved cells). One or more of the components of the media used for expanding cells may be changed, if they are found to improve the growth of cells. In some embodiments, the purified tumor cells are irradiated prior to vaccination. For example, the tumor cells can be washed and irradiated at 5,000-35,000 rads. For instance, for the preparation of an exemplary vaccine, cells may be irradiated (e.g. to 110 Gy or 170 Gy), conjugated with DNP (e.g. as described in the Examples herein), and prepared for subcutaneous administration at 106-109, typically about 1-3107 tumor cells, optionally mixed with BCG or other adjuvants as known in the art. Without limitation, the finished product may contain e.g. 15-20 million irradiated DNP-modified melanoma cells suspended in a volume of 0.6 ml Hank's buffered salt solution (HBSS).

It may be advantageous to store purified tumor cells prior to, during, or after use of the cells for vaccination. For example, the purified tumor cells can be stored upon acquisition to facilitate transport, or to wait for the results of other analyses. In another embodiment, purified tumor cells are provided to physicians for appropriate treatment of cancer. In another embodiment, purified tumor cells are stored while awaiting instructions from a physician or other medical professional. In some cases, a portion of the purified tumor cells are stored while another portion of the purified tumor cells is further manipulated. Such manipulations can include but are not limited, to molecular profiling, cytological staining, gene or gene expression product extraction, fixation, and examination.

The purified tumor cells may be placed in a suitable medium, excipient, solution, or container for short term or long term storage. Said storage may require keeping the cells in a refrigerated or frozen environment. The tumor cells may be quickly frozen prior to storage in a frozen environment. The frozen sample may be contacted with a suitable cryopreservation medium or compound including but not limited to: glycerol, ethylene glycol, sucrose, or glucose. A suitable medium, excipient, or solution may include but is not limited to: hanks salt solution, saline, cellular growth medium, or water. The medium, excipient, or solution may or may not be sterile.

The medium, excipient, or solution may contain preservative agents to maintain the sample in an adequate state for subsequent diagnostics or manipulation, or to prevent coagulation. Said preservatives may include citrate, ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid, sodium azide, or thimersol. The sample may be fixed prior to or during storage by any method known to the art such as using glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, or methanol. The container may be any container suitable for storage and or transport of the biological sample including but not limited to: a cup, a cup with a lid, a tube, a sterile tube, a vacuum tube, a syringe, a bottle, a microscope slide, or any other suitable container. The container may or may not be sterile. In some cases, the sample may be stored in a commercial preparation suitable for storage of cells for subsequent cytological analysis such as but not limited to Cytyc ThinPrep, SurePath, or Monoprep.

In some embodiments, the purified irradiated tumor cells are stimulated with an adjuvant to increase immunogenicity. An adjuvant is an agent that may stimulate the immune system and increase the response to a vaccine, without having any specific antigenic effect in itself. An immunologic adjuvant is defined as any substance that acts to accelerate, prolong, or enhance antigen-specific immune responses when used in combination with specific vaccine antigens, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionarily conserved molecules, so called PAMPs, which include liposomes, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), molecular cages for antigen, components of bacterial cell walls, and endocytosed nucleic acids such as double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide-containing DNA. Because immune systems have evolved to recognize these specific antigenic moieties, the presence of an adjuvant in conjunction with the vaccine can increase the innate immune response to the antigen by augmenting the activities of dendritic cells (DCs), lymphocytes, and macrophages by mimicking a natural infection. Furthermore, because adjuvants are attenuated beyond any function of virulence, they pose little or no independent threat to a host organism.

In another embodiment of the invention, the composition may further comprise an additional therapeutic agent. The term “therapeutic agent” refers to therapeutic protein, molecules, such as a protein, lipid, carbohydrate, nucleic acid and chemical compound or any other anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer drugs which when delivered to a subject, treats, cures, ameliorates, or lessens the symptoms of a given disease or condition (e.g., malignant proliferative disorders) in the subject. Alternatively, prolongs the life of the subject by slowing the progress of a terminal disease or condition. Such agents may be for example antibodies, such as the anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD1, anti-OX40, anti-GITR, anti-CD28, anti-CD40, anti-CD137; cytokines such as IL-2, which activate and stimulate the growth T-cells and natural killer cells (NK Cells), both of which are capable of destroying tumor cells directly; and small molecule compounds inhibiting STAT-3 or RAF activity.

The compositions of the invention can be administered in a variety of ways. By way of non-limiting example, the composition may be delivered intravenously, or into a body cavity adjacent to the location of a solid tumor, such as the intraperitoneal cavity, or injected directly into or adjacent to a solid tumor.

As a preferred route, the composition of the present invention may be administered via subcutaneous or intradermal injections in proximity to the tumor, via intralymphatic or intravenous injection.

The pharmaceutical forms suitable for injection use include sterile aqueous solutions or dispersions and sterile powders for the extemporaneous preparation of sterile injectable solutions or dispersions. In all cases the form must be sterile and must be fluid to the extent that easy syringeability exists. It must be stable under the conditions of manufacture and storage and must be preserved against the contaminating action of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. The carrier can be solvent or dispersion medium containing, for example, water, ethanol, polyol (for example, glycerol, propylene glycol, and liquid polyethylen glyol, and the like), suitable mixtures thereof, and vegetable oils. The proper fluidity can be maintained, for example, by the use of a coating, such as lecithin, by the maintenance of the required particle size in the case of dispersion and by the use of surfactants.

Any suitable route of administration can be used. Preferably, the composition is administered subcutaneously or intratumorally. One skilled in the art will recognize that, although more than one route can be used for administration, a particular route can provide a more immediate and more effective reaction than another route. Local or systemic delivery can be accomplished by administration comprising application or instillation of the formulation into body cavities, inhalation or insufflation of an aerosol, or by parenteral introduction, comprising intramuscular, intravenous, intraportal, intrahepatic, peritoneal, subcutaneous, or intradermal administration.

The composition as described herein, when administered to a mammal preferably produces a result which can include alleviation of the disease (e.g., reduction of at least one symptom or clinical manifestation of the disease), elimination of the disease, reduction of a tumor or lesion associated with the disease, elimination of a tumor or lesion associated with the disease, prevention or alleviation of a secondary disease resulting from the occurrence of a primary disease (e.g., metastatic cancer resulting from a primary cancer), prevention of the disease, and stimulation of effector cell immunity against the disease.

The combined cell lines of the present invention are generally administered in the form of a pharmaceutical composition comprising at least two of the cell lines of this invention together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or diluent, and optionally a further therapeutic agent. Thus, the cell lines used by this invention can be administered either individually in a kit or together in any conventional parenteral or transdermal dosage form.

Since embodiments of the present invention relate to the treatment of diseases and conditions with a combination of active ingredients at least two allogeneic cell lines which may be administered separately, the invention also relates as a further aspect, to combining separate pharmaceutical compositions in a kit form. The kit includes at least two separate pharmaceutical compositions, each comprising at least one allogeneic cell line or any cell line derived therefrom. The kit includes container means for containing all separate compositions; such as a divided bottle or a divided foil packet however, the separate compositions may also be contained within a single, undivided container. Typically the kit includes directions for the administration of the separate components. The kit form is particularly advantageous when the separate components are preferably administered in different dosage forms (e.g., oral and parenteral), are administered at different dosage intervals, or when titration of the individual components of the combination is desired by the prescribing physician.

It should be appreciated that all components of the kit, may be administered simultaneously. Alternatively, the components can be administered sequentially in either order.

Therapeutic Use

The present invention further provides in additional aspects, methods for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. The methods comprise administering to the subject (or vaccinating the subject with) a composition of the invention as defined herein. The method according to one aspect comprises the step of administering to a subject in need a therapeutically effective amount of at least two allogeneic cell lines, or of any composition comprising the same. It should be noted that in certain embodiment at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject. Furthermore, at least one of the cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

According to one embodiment, the cell lines administered in the methods of the invention, may further express at least one tumor antigen or any peptides or fragments thereof.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, the cell lines may optionally endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-A2 antigen.

According to one particular embodiment, the method of the invention may be particularly applicable for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative disorder. Such disorder may be a malignant disorder. For example, melanoma, carcinoma, leukemia, sarcoma, myeloma and lymphoma. More specifically, the malignant disorder may be melanoma. In yet another embodiment, the malignant disease may be a carcinoma, specifically, lung carcinoma or ovary carcinoma.

In other embodiments, the methods of the invention lead to an increase of at least one of the OS (overall survival) and DFS (disease free survival) of said subject.

It should be noted that an increase, elevation, enhancement in at least one of OS and DFO, include in certain embodiment an increase of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control.

In another embodiment, the compositions and methods of the present invention may lead to the activation of CD8-mediated cytotoxic response against the proliferative disorder. This is possible since the composition comprises at least one cell line expressing at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject. The matching HLA class I allow direct activation of CD8-mediated cytotoxic response by the composition, without the need for antigen presenting cell mediation (APC). Antigen presentation by APC may favor CD4 responses, inducing regulatory T cells side by side with helper T cell populations.

According to another embodiment, at least one of the cell lines administered in the method of the invention, may express at least one HLA antigens and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In yet another specific embodiment the cell line administered in the method of the present invention, may express the HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3. More specifically, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602.

In another embodiment the cell line used in the method of the present invention may further express the HLA-A2. In particular, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

According to another embodiment the cell line used in the method of the invention, may express the HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO. More specifically, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In a further embodiment, the cell line administered in the method of the present invention may express the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1. In particular, the cell line may be a lung carcinoma cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In yet another embodiment, the cell line used in the method of the present invention, may express the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec. More specifically, the cell line may be an ovary carcinoma cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

In another embodiment said subject expresses the B35 HLA allele. In another embodiment the method further comprising the step of assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, and if said subject displays the B35 HLA phenotype, administering said composition to said subject.

It should be appreciated that in certain embodiments, the method of the invention may use any of the compositions described by the invention.

Another aspect of the present invention relates to the use of a therapeutically effective amount of at least two allogeneic cell lines in the preparation of a composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases in a subject in need. It should be noted that at least one of the cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject. Furthermore, at least one of the cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

Another aspect of the present invention refers to a method of treating cancer, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof a composition comprising non-proliferating whole cells as defined herein, thereby treating cancer in the subject.

There is also provided a method of treating cancer, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof an immunogenic composition comprising, a tumor cell line selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention, thereby treating cancer in the subject. In one embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment said tumor cell line expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

Another aspect of the present invention refers to a method of treating cancer, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof a therapeutic composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, said therapeutic composition comprising one or more cell lines allogeneic to the subject, wherein at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject, and wherein at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 and HLA-A2 alleles and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), said composition further comprising one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient, hapten, adjuvant or additive, thereby treating cancer in the subject. In one embodiment the composition comprises at least two cell lines allogeneic to said subject. In another embodiment said at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1. In another embodiment, the tumor cell line is selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment said tumor cell line expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention.

Another aspect of the present invention refers to a method for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in a mammalian subject, comprising:

    • a) assessing the presence of the B35 HLA phenotype in the subject, and
    • b) if said subject displays the B35 HLA phenotype, administering to said subject one or more allogeneic cell lines or a composition comprising same, thereby preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of a proliferative disease in said subject. In one embodiment the composition comprises at least two cell lines allogeneic to said subject. In another embodiment the at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. In another embodiment the at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express HLA-B35. In another embodiment the at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express HLA-A2. In another embodiment the at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject, HLA-B35 and HLA-A2. In another embodiment said at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1. In another embodiment, the tumor cell line is selected from the group consisting of human cell lines designated SH-M-20, SH-M-20-A2, SH-M-21, SH-O-30 and SH-L-40 that are deposited under the accession numbers 11052602, 11052604, 11052601, 11052603 and 11052605, respectively, wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment the tumor cell line stably expresses an additional exogenous HLA and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells. In another embodiment said tumor cell line expresses at least one of HLA-B35, HLA-A2 and 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL), wherein each possibility represents a separate embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, the cancer may be a carcinoma, e.g. a metastatic carcinoma including, but not limited to melanoma, ovarian carcinoma and lung carcinoma.

As indicated above, the invention described herein encompasses a composition for the treatment of subjects in need thereof. The term “treatment” concerns improvement of at least one undesired manifestation of the disease such as: increase in disease free periods, decrease in acute disease periods (in time and severely), decrease in severity of the disease, improvement in life quality, decreased mortality, decrease in the rate of disease progression as well as prophylactic treatment before disease occurs. In particular, the composition of the invention may increase at least one of the OS (overall survival) and DFS (disease free survival) of the treated subject. Accordingly, a favorable disease outcome (or a subject responding therapeutically) refers to the outcome of a treatment resulting in an improvement of at least one undesired manifestation of the disease as described above.

The term increase may be an increase of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control. The term decrease may be a decrease of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control. Improvement refers to a clinically recognized improvement, which may be statistically significant and/or recognized by a person of skill in the art (e.g. physician).

Melanoma as used herein and will be described in more detail hereinafter, is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye. Melanoma can occur in any part of the body that contains melanocytes.

Carcinoma as used herein, refers to an invasive malignant tumor consisting of transformed epithelial cells. Alternatively, it refers to a malignant tumor composed of transformed cells of unknown histogenesis, but which possess specific molecular or histological characteristics that are associated with epithelial cells, such as the production of cytokeratins or intercellular bridges.

Leukemia refers to progressive, malignant diseases of the blood-forming organs and is generally characterized by a distorted proliferation and development of leukocytes and their precursors in the blood and bone marrow. Leukemia is generally clinically classified on the basis of (1) the duration and character of the disease-acute or chronic; (2) the type of cell involved; myeloid (myelogenous), lymphoid (lymphogenous), or monocytic; and (3) the increase or non-increase in the number of abnormal cells in the blood-leukemic or aleukemic (subleukemic). Leukemia as used herein includes, for example, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, chronic granulocytic leukemia, acute promyelocytic leukemia, adult T-cell leukemia, aleukemic leukemia, a leukocythemic leukemia, basophylic leukemia, blast cell leukemia, chronic myelocytic leukemia, leukemia cutis, embryonal leukemia, eosinophilic leukemia, Gross' leukemia, hairy-cell leukemia, hemoblastic leukemia, hemocytoblastic leukemia, histiocytic leukemia, stem cell leukemia, acute monocytic leukemia, leukopenic leukemia, lymphatic leukemia, lymphoblastic leukemia, lymphocytic leukemia, lymphogenous leukemia, lymphoid leukemia, lymphosarcoma cell leukemia, mast cell leukemia, megakaryocyte leukemia, micromyeloblastic leukemia, monocytic leukemia, myeloblasts leukemia, myelocytic leukemia, myeloid granulocytic leukemia, myelomonocytic leukemia, Naegeli leukemia, plasma cell leukemia, plasmacytic leukemia, promyelocytic leukemia, Rieder cell leukemia, Schilling's leukemia, stem cell leukemia, subleukemic leukemia, and undifferentiated cell leukemia.

Sarcoma is a cancer that arises from transformed connective tissue cells. These cells originate from embryonic mesoderm, or middle layer, which forms the bone, cartilage, and fat tissues. This is in contrast to carcinomas, which originate in the epithelium. The epithelium lines the surface of structures throughout the body, and is the origin of cancers in the breast, colon, and pancreas.

Lung Carcinoma is a disease caused by the rapid growth and division of cells that make up the lungs. Lung cancers are classified according to the type of cell present in the tumor. The majority are referred to as non-small cell carcinomas. These include squamous cell or epidermoid carcinomas (the most common type worldwide), adenocarcinomas, and large cell carcinomas. Small cell carcinoma (which includes the subtypes oat cell and intermediate) comprises approximately 20% to 25% of lung cancers; it often has metastasized by the time it is detected.

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from different parts of the ovary. Most (>90%) ovarian cancers are classified as “epithelial” and were believed to arise from the surface (epithelium) of the ovary. However, it was shown that the Fallopian tube could also be the source of some ovarian cancers. Since the ovaries and tubes are closely related to each other, it is hypothesized that these cells can mimic ovarian cancer. Other types arise from the egg cells (germ cell tumor) or supporting cells (sex cord/stromal).

Myeloma as mentioned herein, is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies. Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions, and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiency. Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels) is often encountered.

Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. These malignant cells often originate in lymph nodes, presenting as an enlargement of the node (a tumor). It can also affect other organs in which case it is referred to as extranodal lymphoma.

Colon cancer (colorectal cancer), commonly known as bowel cancer, is a cancer from uncontrolled cell growth in the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine), or in the appendix. Symptoms typically include rectal bleeding and anemia which are sometimes associated with weight loss and changes in bowel habits. Overall, 70% of cases occur in the rectum and sigmoid, and 95% are adenocarcinomas. Symptoms include blood in the stool or change in bowel habits. Screening is with fecal occult blood testing, while diagnosis is commonly done by colonoscopy.

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, refers to cancer arising from any part of the stomach. Etiology of stomach cancer is multifactorial, but Helicobacter pylori plays a significant role. Symptoms include early satiety, obstruction, and bleeding but tend to occur late in the disease. Diagnosis is by endoscopy, followed by CT and endoscopic ultrasound for staging.

In particular embodiments, the methods of the invention may be used for the treatment or inhibition of non-solid cancers, e.g. hematopoietic malignancies such as all types of leukemia, e.g. acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), mast cell leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, Burkitt's lymphoma and multiple myeloma, as well as for the treatment or inhibition of solid tumors such as head and neck tumors, tumors in lip and oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses, major salivary glands, thyroid gland, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, colorectum, anal canal, liver, gallbladder, extraliepatic bile ducts, ampulla of vater, exocrine pancreas, lung, pleural mesothelioma, bone, soft tissue sarcoma, carcinoma and malignant melanoma of the skin, breast, vulva, vagina, cervix uteri, corpus uteri, ovary, fallopian tube, gestational trophoblastic tumors, penis, prostate, testis, kidney, renal pelvis, ureter, urinary bladder, urethra, carcinoma of the eyelid, carcinoma of the conjunctiva, malignant melanoma of the conjunctiva, malignant melanoma of the uvea, retinoblastoma, carcinoma of the lacrimal gland, sarcoma of the orbit, brain, spinal cord, vascular system, hemangiosarcoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. It should be recognized that melanoma, lung carcinoma and ovary carcinoma are of specific interest.

In yet another particular embodiment, the methods of the invention are specifically applicable for the treatment of melanoma.

The term melanoma includes, but is not limited to, melanoma, metastatic melanoma, melanoma derived from either melanocytes or melanocyte-related nevus cells, melanocarcinoma, melanoepithelioma, melanosarcoma, melanoma in situ, superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, lentigo maligna melanoma, acral lentiginoous melanoma, invasive melanoma or familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome. Such melanomas may be caused by chromosomal abnormalities, degenerative growth and developmental disorders, mitogenic agents, ultraviolet radiation (UV), viral infections, inappropriate tissue gene expression, alterations in gene expression, or carcinogenic agents. The aforementioned melanomas can be treated by the method and the composition described in the present invention.

As noted before, the term “treatment” concerns improvement of at least one undesired manifestation of the disease such as: increase in disease-free periods, decrease in acute disease periods (in time and severely), decrease in severity of the disease, improvement in life quality, decreased mortality, decrease in the rate of disease progression as well as prophylactic treatment before disease occurs. More specifically, a decrease in acute disease periods, mortality and severity of the disease, or an increase in disease free period may be of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control.

As used herein, “disease”, “disorder” and the like, as they relate to a subject's health, are used interchangeably and have meanings ascribed to each and all of such terms.

The term “effective amount” as used herein by the composition and methods of the invention is that determined by such considerations as are known to the man of skill in the art. The amount must be sufficient to prevent or ameliorate tissue damage caused by proliferative disorders treated, specifically a malignant proliferative disorder for example, melanoma. Dosing is dependent on the severity of the symptoms and on the responsiveness of the subject to the active drug. Medically trained professionals can easily determine the optimum dosage, dosing methodology and repetition rates. In any case, the attending physician, taking into consideration the age, sex, weight and state of the disease of the subject to be treated, will determine the dose. Optimal dosing schedules can be calculated from measurements of drug accumulation in the body of the patient. Persons of ordinary skill can easily determine optimum dosages, dosing methodologies and repetition rates. In general, dosage is calculated according to body weight, and may be given once or more daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, or even once every 2 to 20 years. Persons of ordinary skill in the art can easily estimate repetition rates for dosing based on measured residence times and concentrations of the cell lines used by the invention or any composition thereof in bodily fluids or tissues. Following successful treatment, it may be desirable to have the patient undergo maintenance therapy to prevent the recurrence of the disease state, wherein the cell lines used by the method of the invention or any composition thereof are administered in maintenance doses, once or more daily.

In some embodiments, the purified irradiated tumor cells are mixed with adjuvant and injected into a subject for vaccination. In some embodiments, the subject is bearing a tumor. The tumor cells can be obtained from a primary tumor, a disseminated tumor, or a metastatic tumor. In some embodiments, the tumor is a solid tumor. In some embodiments, tumor cells are administered to the subject parenterally, including intramuscular, intraarterial, intrathecal, intradermal, intraperitoneal, intrasplenic, subcutaneous, and intravenous administration. In some embodiments the adjuvant is injected directly into the tumor.

For example, without limitation, a cell vaccine of the invention may comprise about 106-109, typically about 1-3*107 tumor cells, e.g. irradiated or otherwise attenuated (non-proliferating) tumor cells. Tumor cells may be treated for example by DNP, e.g. by the method of Miller and Claman (e.g. as described in the Examples). The cells may be administered together with BCG or other adjutants, according to protocols well known in the art.

In another embodiment, treatment using the cell lines or compositions of the invention, may be effected following at least 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 30, 60, 90 days of treatment, and proceeding on to treatment for life.

For example, without limitation, vaccination may be effected by injection of the vaccine to several (e.g. three) adjacent sites on the upper arm or thigh, avoiding limbs where lymph node dissection has been previously performed. When using DNP-modified vaccines, vaccination may optionally be preceded e.g. two weeks before by sensitizing the recipient subject to DNP. A total of 3-20, typically 5-10, e.g. eight vaccines may be administered at 10-30 day intervals. For example, vaccination protocol may comprise 5 vaccines administered at 21 day intervals followed by three vaccines administered at 28 day intervals. Optionally, initial vaccinations (e.g. the first two vaccinations) may be preceded by intravenous cyclophosphamide administered 1-5 days before vaccination. Prior to vaccination, BCG may added to the vaccine in decreasing concentrations, e.g. as follows: a dilution of 1:50 for vaccines 1-4; a dilution of 1:100 for vaccines 5-6; and a dilution of 1:500 for vaccines 7-8. If a patient shows intense local reactivity (suppurative induration) to the first BCG vaccine, the concentration in the following vaccines is decreased accordingly.

The compositions and methods of the invention are particularly intended for the induction of immune response and treating a mammalian subject, specifically, humans, but other mammals including, but not limited to, monkeys, equines, cattle, canines, felines, mice, rats, pigs, horses, sheep and goats may be treated.

The invention also provides a method of stimulating or enhancing an immune response in a patient having cancer. For example, the invention provides a method of stimulating an immune response in a patient having colon, breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, kidney, endometrium, cervix, ovary, thyroid, or other glandular tissue cancer as well as squamous, melanoma, central nervous system, and lymphomas. For example, the compositions of the invention may be used for enhancement of the immune response in AJCC stage III (metastases to lymph nodes) post-operative patients with high risk of metastatic melanoma recurrence. The method can include the step of administering to the patient one or more allogeneic tumor cells as described herein, wherein the allogeneic cell stimulates or enhances an immune response to an autologous tumor cell in the patient. The administration of allogeneic tumor cells are advantageous for stimulating an immune response against a tumor in a patient without the need for isolating cells from the patient to generate such a tumor vaccine.

Another aspect of the present invention relates to the use of a therapeutically effective amount of at least two allogeneic cell lines in the preparation of a composition for treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases in a subject in need. It should be noted that in certain embodiments, at least one of the cell lines used by the invention may endogenously or exogenously express the HLA B35 antigen. Moreover, at least one of these cell lines may express at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject. In yet a further aspect, the invention relates to a combination of at least two allogeneic cell lines for use in treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases in a subject in need. It should be noted that in certain embodiments at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject. Furthermore, at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

In another embodiment of the present invention, at least one of the cell lines used by the invention may further express at least one tumor antigen or any peptides or fragments thereof.

In yet another embodiment, the cell lines used by the invention, optionally endogenously or exogenously, expresses the HLA-A2 antigen.

In a further embodiment, the composition provided by the use of cell lines according to the invention, is particularly applicable in treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases. This disease may be a malignant disorder such as melanoma, carcinoma, leukemia, sarcoma myeloma and lymphoma. More specifically, the malignant disorder may be melanoma.

In yet another embodiment, the use of the invention may be for the preparation of a composition that may increase at least one of the OS (overall survival) and DFS (disease free survival) of said subject. The term increase as used in this connection may be an increase of about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% or 99% as compared to untreated control.

In a further embodiment, the use of the invention may be for the preparation of a composition that may lead to the activation of CD8-mediated cytotoxic response against the proliferative disorder.

In another embodiment, the invention provides the use of cell lines expressing at least one HLA antigen and/or tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of A24, A33, B35, B49, CW04/12, A2/24, A03/25, B08/18, DRB1, A26, A28, B35, DRB01, DRB104, tumor associated antigens selected from the group consisting of GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, NY-ESO-1, CEA, PAN cytokeratin, Ca-125-sec CEA-sec, CA15-3-sec and MUC-1.

In particular, the cell line used may express the HLA antigen A24 A33, B35, B49, CW04/12 and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, HMB45, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3. More specifically such cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20 and deposited under the accession number 11052602.

In yet another embodiment, the cell line used by the invention may further express the HLA-A2 antigen. Specifically, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-20-A2 and deposited under the accession number 11052604.

In another embodiment, the cell line used by the invention may express the HLA antigens A2/24, B35 and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO. In particular, the cell line may be a melanoma cell line designated SH-M-21 and deposited under the accession number 11052601.

In a further embodiment, the cell line used by the invention may express the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01, DRB104 and the tumor associated antigens PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1. Specifically, the cell line may be a lung carcinoma cell line designated SH-L-40 and deposited under the accession number 11052605.

In yet another embodiment, the cell line used in the preparation of the composition of the invention may express the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, DRB1 and the tumor associated antigens CEA Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec.

In particular, the cell line may be an ovary carcinoma cell line designated SH-O-30 and deposited under the accession number 11052603.

In a further embodiment, the use of any of the cell lines described herein may be for the preparation of any of the compositions described by the invention.

Another aspect of the invention provides a combination of at least two allogeneic cell lines for use in treating, preventing, ameliorating, reducing or delaying the onset of proliferative diseases in a subject in need. In which in certain embodiments at least one of said cell lines expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of the subject. Furthermore, at least one of said cell lines endogenously or exogenously express the HLA-B35 allele or any other HLA A or B allele that correlates with improved disease outcome.

In a further embodiment, the cell lines combined are any one of cell lines described in the present invention.

Disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular examples, process steps, and materials disclosed herein as such process steps and materials may vary somewhat. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and not intended to be limiting since the scope of the present invention will be limited only by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.

It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

Throughout this specification and the claims which follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the word “comprise”, and variations such as “comprises” and “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or step or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or step or group of integers or steps.

The following examples are presented in order to more fully illustrate some embodiments of the invention. They should, in no way be construed, however, as limiting the broad scope of the invention.

EXAMPLES

Materials

Antibodies

    • Monoclonal antibody (MoAb or mAb) W6/32 purchased from Dako Cat. No. M0736.
    • MoAb anti HLA DP, SQ, DR, antigens, purchased from Dako, Cat. No. M0775.
    • R24 antibody specific for melanoma associated antigen GD3
    • Monoclonal antibodies specific for S-100, purchased from Dako, Cat No Z0311.
    • HMB-45, monoclonal antibody specific for gp100, Dako Cat No M0634
    • Antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV)
    • Antibody to HIV 1/2 (anti HIV 1/2)
    • OKT3 antibody specific for CD3, eBioscience 16-0037-85.
    • Mouse anti-human HMW antibody (anti-hNG2/MCSP), FAB 2585A and Mabs 225.28 and 763.74 produced by S. Ferrone.
    • Mouse anti human MCSA antibody (AbD Serotec) Cat. No. 6044-2007.
    • FITC-conjugated mouse anti-human CD146 antibody (AbD Serotec) Cat. No. MCA2141F
    • FITC-conjugated HLA-A2-specific BB7.2 monoclonal antibody (mAb; Biolegend) Cat. No. 343304.
    • FITC-conjugated goat anti mouse secondary antibody (Jackson) Cat. No. 1150-96-146.

Media

Medium Used for Cultivation of Tumor Cell Lines (Referred to as Olga Medium)

For 500 ml “Olga” culture medium:

    • For 500 ml “Olga” culture medium:
    • 100 ml RPMI 1640 (cat #21875 GIBCO)
    • 100 ml F12 HAM (Biological Industries Israel, Cat. 01-095-1A)
    • 150 ml DMEM w/o Pyruvate (cat #41965 GIBCO)
    • 150 ml DMEM w/o Pyruvate with 25 mM Hepes (cat #42430 GIBCO)
    • 10% L-Glutamine 200 mM (cat #25030 GIBCO)
    • 10% Penicillin/Streptomycin (cat #15140 GIBCO)
    • 10% FBS Australia (cat #10099-141 GIBCO)
    • Mixed and filtered through a 500 ml 0.22 μm filter.

Epithelial Cells Medium (referred to as Anna's Medium)

For 1 liter medium:

    • 10 ml Insulin-Transferin-Selenium 100× (GIBCO Cat. 41400-045)
    • 10 ml Hepes 1M (GIBCO Cat. 15630-056)
    • 10 ml MEM NEAA 100× (GIBCO Cat. 1140-035)
    • 10 ml Sodium Pyruvate 100 mM (GIBCO Cat. 11360-039)
    • 3 ml EGF (10 μg/ml stock)) (SIGMA E9644)
    • 1 ml Hydrocortisone (0.5 μM stock) (SIGMA H6909)
    • 170 ml FBS (GIBCO Australia Cat. 10099-141)
    • 11 ml Glutamine 100 mM (GIBCO Cat. 25030-024)
    • 11 ml Penicillin-Streptomycin (GIBCO Cat. 15140-120)
    • 150 ml RPMI 1640 (GIBCO Cat. 21875-034)
    • 150 ml F12 HAM (Beit Haemek, Cat. 01-095-1A)
    • 230 ml DMEM (GIBCO Cat. 41965-039)
    • 230 ml DMEM (GIBCO Cat. 42430-025)
    • Mixed and filtered through a 500 ml 0.22 μm filter.

Reagents and Kits

    • TRI reagent (Sigma). Cat No. T9424
    • Superscript II Reverse Transcriptase (Life Technologies). Cat No. 18064-014
    • RNase H− (Life Technologies). Cat No. 18021-071
    • Matrigel (BD bioscience). Cat No. FAL356234
    • Ciproxin 200 (Bayer). Cat No. 81532266
    • Collagenase (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo.). Cat No. C1030.
    • DNAse (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo.). Cat No. D4527.
    • LiPA HLA kit (Murex Innogenetics, Ghent, Belgium).
    • SuperPicture HRP Polymer Conjugate Broad Spectrum (AEC) kit (Invitrogen). Cat No. Cat No 87-9963.
    • EZ-Mycoplasma PCR. Biological Industries Cat No 20-700-20.
    • Lipofectamine reagent (Invitrogen, Cat No 15338).
    • Human IFN-gamma DuoSet (R&D, Cat No DY285E).

Patients

The patients included in the experiment disclosed by the present invention were diagnosed with cutaneous malignant melanoma with high risk for disease recurrence. Typically, these high risk patients belonged to three AJCC staging categories: (1) thick primary melanoma (>4 mm; AJCC stage IIB; 14 patients); (2) micrometastases to regional lymph nodes (LN) revealed by sentinel LN biopsy (N1a, N2a; 15 patients); and (3) macrometastases to regional LN (N1b-N3b; 13 patients).

To be eligible for the inventors' study, patients had to have undergone wide local excision of their skin melanoma with sentinel lymph node biopsy and therapeutic lymph node dissection of positive sentinel, and palpable nodes. Eligible patients had to be free of metastatic disease based on whole body CT scan or PET scan performed less than 3 weeks prior to surgery. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB, Helsinki Committee, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, #HMO 093-09), and informed consent was obtained before enrollment into the trial.

Experimental Procedures

HLA Phenotypes and Antigen Characterization

HLA phenotyping of melanoma cell lines was performed on donors' melanoma cells using HLA-A and B low resolution molecular typing by REVERSE-SSOP using the LiPA HLA kit (Murex Innogenetics, Ghent, Belgium) according to the manufacturer instructions.

To verify HLA class I molecule expression on cell lines, MoAb W6/32 (Dako) was used. To determine HLA class II molecule expression on cell lines, MoAb anti HLA DP, SQ, DR, antigens (Dako) were used. Melanoma cell lines were stained for the melanoma associated antigens GD3 (R24 antibody), S-100 and HMB-45 (Dako), using the alkaline phosphatase anti-alkaline phosphatase (APAAP) reaction (Zymed), according to the manufacturer's protocol (FIG. 2). The HLA phenotype and antigen characterization of the cell lines used are presented in Table 3.

TABLE 3 HLA phenotype and antigen characterization of the cell lines used for vaccination The following antibodies were used: W6/32 (for Class I), S100, HMB-45, and R24 (for GD3). Line no. HLA W6/32 S100 HMB-45 R24 7 A01 + + + B08 + 10 A01 + ND ND A68 + 12 A02 + + + A32 B18 B41 + 14 A01 + A02 B35 B15 + 16 A02 + + ND ND A25 B8 B35 21 A3 A26 + + + B18 + 24 A26 + + B14 + 30 A03 + + + A33 B14 B18 + 33 A02 + + A24 B15 B70 + 60 A3 A66 + + B35 B52 + 112 A24 + + + A30 B18 B38 + 135 A1 A29 + + + B7 B18 + 139 A2 A33 + + + B38 B58 + 141 A2 A29 + + + B35 B58 + 163 A02 + + ND A32 B35 B52 172 A24 + A30 B38 B41 + 180 A03 + + + A29 B14 + 190 A02 + + A24 B35 + 279 A01 + A33 B8 B17 +

Preparation of Tumor Cell Lines

Work was performed under GMP conditions. Tumor specimens were procured fresh and sterile. For large tumor bulks, cells were extracted mechanically or by enzymatic dissociation with collagenase and DNAse (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo.), frozen in a controlled rate freezer, and stored in liquid nitrogen in medium containing 2.5% human albumin and 20% DMSO until needed.

To expand tumor cells, multiple splits of cultures were performed in culture bottles with Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM, Gibco BRL), 10% fetal calf serum (Gibco BRL), HEPES (1:500), pen-strep (1:100) and glutamine (1:100). Stocks of melanoma cells from low passages were cryopreserved for the establishment of new batches of cells as needed.

Periodical staining to assure melanocytic progeny was performed with monoclonal antibodies specific for S-100, GD3 and HMB-45 as described above. Positive staining of more than 50% of cells with at least one of these antibodies was required. Cell lines were regularly tested for the presence of mycoplasma (EZ-PCR, Biological Industries, Beth Haemek, Israel). Lines that were found contaminated were incubated in the presence of 10 mg/ml Ciproxin 200 (Bayer) for two weeks, with change of medium every three days. The lines were re-tested after treatment, and were used for vaccination only after found mycoplasma-free.

Preparation of Cell Line from Tumor Biopsy

Tumor biopsies were transferred to a sterile Petri dish. A large biopsy (2-10 g) was transferred to a 10 cm sterile Petri dish and a small biopsy (up to 2 g) was transferred to a 3.5 cm sterile Petri dish. The saline from the original container of the biopsy was collected and was centrifuged (1000-1500 rpm for 5-10 min). The cells were suspended in culture medium. The Biopsy was cut in to smaller pieces with a razor blade and was filtered through a 70 μm nylon filter into 50 ml sterile tubes and centrifuged (1000-1500 rpm for 5-10 min). The pellet in each tube was suspended in culture medium containing 10% DMSO (for freezing) and transferred in 1 ml aliquots to freezing ampoules and frozen.

Alternatively, approximately 1-2% of a large biopsy and up to all of a small biopsy was taken and transferred to two 250-ml flasks. Culture medium containing 20% FCS was added. After overnight incubation cells were examined under the microscope; if there was a monolayer, the non-adherent cells were poured into a sterile 50 ml tube, and fresh medium, with 10% FCS was added. If there was no monolayer, the washing was preformed the next day. These cells are PASSAGE 0. When the monolayer was confluent, the medium was collected as “conditioned medium”. The conditioned medium was frozen, for mycoplasma testing, or as a growth factor when needed. If the non-adherent cells collected contained many mononuclear cells, they were centrifuged, suspended in culture medium with 10% DMSO, and frozen. PBS was added to the flask, tilted lightly, and discarded. Trypsin was added as follows: To 5 ml flasks, 1 ml were added, to 250 ml flasks, 3 ml were added and to 600 ml flasks, 4 ml were added. The cells were incubate at 37° C. and were Checked every two minutes. When the monolayer was loosened (not more than 5 min), the flask was hit to loosen all the cells, and medium containing FCS was added. The cells were distributed into new flasks. These cells are passage 1.

Freezing of Tumor Cell Line Protocol

Confluent cells from a T25 flask were frozen in one cryo-tube and from a T50 flask in two cryo-tubes. Cryo-tubes were labeled by Patient Name, Line Number, Passage Number and date.

The freezing medium (2 ml per cryo-tube) was prepared with 0.2 ml DMSO, 0.6 ml FCS (Brazil) and 1.2 ml DMEM medium for one cryo-tube. Some PBS was added to the flask, tilted lightly, and discarded. Trypsin was added as follows: to 50 ml flasks, 1 ml was added, to 250 ml flasks, 3 ml was added and to 600 ml flasks, 4 ml was added.

The cells were incubate at 37° C. and were Checked every two minutes. When the monolayer was loosened (not more than 5 min), the flask was hit to loosen all the cells, and DMEM medium containing FCS was added. The cells were transferred to tubes, centrifuged at 1,100 rpm for 7 minutes and re-suspended in freezing medium. The tubes were securely capped, and immediately stored in deep-freeze boxes at −70° C. for at least 2 days (and up to 7 days). The tubes were transferred to a liquid nitrogen container and marked by date of storage.

Thawing of Tumor Cell Line

Cryo-tubes were transferred from liquid nitrogen to a stand in a container with distilled water. After cryo-tubes were completely thawed they were dried and clean with 70% ethanol. The content of the cryo-tubes was transferred to a 12 ml tube containing 10 ml Olga medium (MFI_25) with 10% FCS (Australian) and centrifuged at 1,100 rpm for 7 minutes. The content of the tubes were resuspended in Olga medium and transferred to flasks, as follows: to T25 flask 7 ml was added and to T50 flask 15 ml was added. The Flasks were incubated at 37° C. with 8% CO2.

Mycoplasma Testing

Melanoma cells were set aside for mycoplasma testing every two weeks. The last batch of cells grown was tested first. Previous batches were tested only if the last batch was contaminated.

At least 0.5 ml spent medium was collected into a sterile tube (the cells must have been in the same medium for at least 3 days) as well as, spent medium from at least 20% of the flasks from the same date. The tube was labeled with the patient number, type of cells and date of collection (can be stored up to one week in the refrigerator). Then, the tube with its contact was Centrifuged 250 g (2000 rpm) for 5 minutes, dated and the supernatant was transferred into a fresh sterile tube and centrifuged 14,000 rpm for 15 minutes to sediment mycoplasma. The supernatant was carefully discarded and the pellet was kept (the pellet may not be visible). The pellet was resuspended with 20 μl of the Buffer Solution (EZ-PCR) and mixed thoroughly with a micropipette. Finally, the tube with its content was heated to 95° C. for 3 minutes, a 25 G needle was put through the cap of the tube, to avoid excessive pressure and the tubes were stored at −20° C. until PCR is performed.

EZ-Mycoplasma PCR was performed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Tumor cells that were found contaminated were incubated in the presence of 10 mg/ml Ciproxin 200 (Bayer) for two weeks, with change of medium every three days. The cells were re-tested after treatment, and were used only after found mycoplasma-free.

Tests for Viral Infectious Agents

The following viral antigen or antibodies were tested in the Tumor cells (Table 4). For all cell lines the tests were negative.

TABLE 4 Viral infectious agents test Viral antigen or antibody Test Performance site Hepatitis B surface HBsAg (V2), Abbott Liver Unit/Division of antigen (HBsAg) Axsym System, Medicine, Hadassah B7P400 Antibody to HCV version 3.0, Liver Unit/Division of hepatitis C Abbott Axsym System, Medicine, Hadassah virus (anti-HCV) B3B440 Antibody to HIV 1/2 HIV 1/2 gO, Abbott Clinical Virololgy, (anti HIV 1/2) Axsym System, B3D40 Hadassah

Master Cell Bank

Each ampoule contains between 3×106 and 5×106 cells, cryopreserved as detailed above.

Storage: Few ampoules were stored in a liquid nitrogen container in the Immunotherapy laboratory, Sharett Institute of Oncology, room 57, and a few ampoules were stored in the Cryo-preservation Unit of the Hadassah Hospital. These laboratories are at remote sites. Storage is performed in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen. All tubes are labeled with blue caps. In order to avoid microbial contamination, the cells are manipulated under aseptic conditions. In addition, the media used for cell growth is filtered through a 0.2 μm filter. The cells in the MCB have been tested and found negative for infectious agents.

Transfection Protocol

The cells were transfected using Lipofectamine reagent, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

FACS Protocol

For FACS analysis, cells were washed twice in FACS buffer consisting of PBS supplemented with 0.5% bovine serum albumin (BSA) and 0.1% sodium azide and resuspended in the same buffer. The cells were stained with the specified antibody for 30 min at 4° C., then washed twice in FACS buffer and analyzed on an LSRII analyzer (Becton Dickinson). Appropriate isotype controls were used. The data were analyzed using “FCS express” software (De Novo Software, Los Angeles, Calif.).

ELISA Protocol

IFN-γ ELISA was done according to the manufacturer's instructions (R&D).

RT PCR Expression of Different Tumor Antigens in the Tumor Cell Lines

Total cytoplasmic RNA was isolated from logarithmically growing cell cultures using TRI REAGENT (Molecular Research Center, Cincinnati, Ohio) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Four micrograms of total RNA were reverse transcribed into cDNA with 200 units of Superscript II RNase H− Reverse Transcriptase (Life Technologies). The cDNA quality was assured by testing the expression of L19. cDNA corresponding to 500 ng of total RNA was subjected to PCR amplification (PTC-100; MJ Research Inc. Watertown, Mass.) for 40 cycles, as follows: 1 min at 92° C.; 1 min at 55° C., 1 min at 72° C. The following primer sequences (5′→3′) were used:

For the expression of MAGE-A1 the following primers were used:

    • forward (f) ACT ACC ATC AAC TTG ACT CG (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 8), and reverse (r) CTC CCA TCA TAC ACC TCC (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 9).

For the expression of MAGE-A3 the following primers were used:

    • (f) TGG AGG ACC AGA GGC CCC (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 10), and (r) GGA CGA TTA TCA GGA GGC CTG C (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 11).

For the expression of NY-ESO-1 the following primers were used:

    • (f) GTT CTA CCT CGC CAT GCC TTT (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 12), and (r) GCA GTC AGT CGG ATA GTC AGT (as denoted by SEQ. ID. NO. 13).

Amplification was followed by 10 minutes incubation at 72° C. Products were electrophoresed on 1% agarose gels and monitored under UV.

Establishment of Melanoma-Specific T Lymphocytes from Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

Cryo-preserved mononuclear cells (MNC-GS-1457) were stimulated in vitro with autologous irradiated melanoma at an effector:target ratio of 10:1.

After five days in culture in the presence of low dose IL-2, the MNC were re-stimulated with autologous melanoma at a 5:1 ratio. Following the second re-stimulation, MNG-GS-1457 cells were incubated in the presence of OKT3 antibody, to induce rapid expansion (REP) of the lymphocytes in order to obtain large numbers of cells. Cell activity was measured in the course of (day 6) and the end (day 13) of the REP procedure. The phenotype of the cells obtained after two stimulations (I) and after REP (II) was determined by FACS analysis, and their activity was measured by IFN-γ secretion in the presence of autologous or irrelevant melanoma cells (ELISA assay).

Vaccine Preparation

The vaccine was tailored for each patient, depending on his HLA type. Three different melanoma lines with a minimum of one allelic identity and preferably 2-3 identical alleles on loci A and B were chosen for each vaccine (Table 5). Ten million cells of each line were administered in every dose of vaccine. On treatment day, the cells were thawed, washed and irradiated to 110 Gy. A sample was stained with trypan blue and counted after irradiation. Conjugation of melanoma cells with DNP was performed by the method of Miller and Claman [Miller, S. D., and H. N. Claman. J Immunol 117:1519-1526 (1976)]. Briefly, melanoma cells were washed with Hanks balanced solution-no HSA, re-suspended to a concentration of 5×106/ml, mixed, incubated for 30 minutes, and washed again. Each cell line was separately injected by the subcutaneous route. Bacille Calmete Guerin (BCG) was mixed with the first two vaccine doses, for its adjuvant effect.

TABLE 5 HLA class I phenotype and list of the lines used to prepare the vaccine for each patient Patient HLA Patient no. A B Lines used for vaccine 234 A33 A66 B17 (58) B41 139 60 12 2019 A1 A - B35 B41 10 12 141 279 A1 A33 (19) B8 B17 7 30 279 2026 A3 A26 (10) B7 B38 (16) 21 30 135 2027 A11 A30 (19) B13 B52 (5) 112 172 163 2028 A24 A26 B07 B38 21 112 172 306 A2 A26 B07 B38 16 21 139 2031 A24 A33 B18 B44 30 112 172 2034 A11 A26 (10) B38 B52 21 112 163 330 A29 (19) A32 (19) B14 B7 180 135 163 2036 A- A1 B41 B7 10 7 172 2037 A02 A03 B07 B13 21 141 190 2041 A02 A03 B44 163 21 2042 A01 66 B35 38 7 60 172 2043 A02 B35 B52 60 141 2044 A01 A26 B08 B55 7 10 21 2002 A2 A3 B 14 B 38 139 180 33 2003 A 26 A 3 B 44 B 7 21 135 2004 A 2 A 66 B 41 12 60 190 2006 A1 A3 B35 B18 21 60 135 2007 A29 B35 B45 141 16 190 212 A 124 B35 B44 10 14 33 2008 A24 (9) A3 B14 B35 190 112 30 2010 A2 A28 B7 B38 (16) 139 135 190 2014 A24 A30 B18 B41 172 12 112 2015 A23 A31 B38 B50 112 172 139 2018 A24 B35 190 172 16 2022 A1 A26 (10) B38 (16) B35 21 10 16 2025 A1 A32 (19) B57 (17) B18 12 10 135 2029 A01 A33 B08 B49 7 139 135 2039 A01 A25 B08 B18 7 10 16 2009 A28 B7 B38 135 139 141 466 A02 A33 B08 B50 16 141 190 2049 A24 A32 B07 B40 112 163 172 463 A02 A26 B1517 B27 16 21 190 2047 A24 B35 16 172 2048 A01 B08 B18 7 10 21 453 A02 A23 B07 B49 16 163 172 2046 A11 A32 B35 B49 163 16 2045 A02 A31 B35 16 141 2016 A2 A11 B35 B58 (17) 141 139 190 2017 A68 B14 24 10 30

Vaccination Procedure

On days 1 and 2 patients were sensitized to DNP by topically applying 0.1 ml of 2% DNP dissolved in acetone-corn oil (Sigma) to the inner aspect of the arm. On day 14 the vaccine was injected into three adjacent sites on the upper arm or thigh, avoiding limbs where lymph node dissection had been previously performed. The first two vaccines were preceded by intravenous cyclophosphamide, 300 mg/m2 given four days earlier. A total of eight vaccine doses were administered at 21- (vaccines 1-5) and 28- (vaccines 6-8) day intervals (Lotem et al., 2002).

DTH Evaluation

Previous clinical studies confirmed that skin reactivity against tumor cells, as measured by delayed type hypersensitivity reaction, is a simple predictor of survival (Lotem et al., 2002). For that reason, 1×106 unmodified melanoma cells of each line chosen for the vaccine were irradiated to a dose of 170 Gy and injected intradermally. DTH was measured by the maximal diameter of erythema 48 hours post injection. A clinically significant DTH response was considered as erythema of 5 mm at the injection site of at least two lines used for vaccination.

Evaluation of Results

Apart of minor inconveniency and grade I itching at the injection site, no systemic toxicity was observed in vaccinated patients. Patients did not report any other side effects.

Statistical Analysis

Statistics were calculated using established methods. Study endpoints included: Disease recurrence—defined as histologically or radiologically proven local or metastatic lesions appearing after enrollment into the trial. Disease related mortality—any event of death as a result of disease progression. Time interval to recurrence was measured from the time of surgery until the first documented event of recurrence.

Overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier's product limit method. Univariate analysis of treatment impact on survival was calculated by the log rank test. P value<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Preparation of Viral Particles

Viral particles for transfection/transduction of HLA-A2 expressing vectors were produced by transient co-transfection into 293T-phoenix cells. The TransIT-LT1 transfection reagent (Mirus, Madison, USA) was used as described herein. The components of the transfection were calculated for 10-cm tissue culture dishes.

293T-phoenix cells were routinely cultured in 90% Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM, Gibco-BRL, Gaithersburg, Md.) supplemented with 10% Fetal Calf Serum (Gibco-BRL, Gaithersburg, Md.), 1 mM L-glutamine, 100 u/ml penicillin and 50 g/ml streptomycin.

24 hours prior to transfection, 1.8×106 293 T-phoenix cells were plated on a 10-cm tissue culture dish, in 10 ml 293T-phoenix tissue culture medium. The confluence of the cells on the day of transfection was approximately 70%.

Cells were incubated over-night at 37° C. The next day, transfection was performed in a total volume of 600 l.

Preparation of plasmid mixture: 8 g of the MSGV-1 A2 plasmid and 8 g of VSV-G envelope plasmid were mixed in serum-free medium (Optimem, Gibco).

Transfection reagent solution was prepared in a second eppendorf tube. The volume of Optimem is determined according to the volumes of the other components of the transfection (transfection reagent and plasmid DNA). 55 l of TransIT-LT1 transfection reagent was added directly to the Optimem medium, in a dropwise manner and mixed completely by gently flicking the tube. The mixture was incubated at room temperature for approximately 5 minutes.

Reagent solution was added to the plasmids mixture in a dropwise manner and mixed by gently flicking the tube. The mixture was incubated at room temperature for 15-45 minutes, to enable reagent/DNA complex formation.

The reagent/DNA complex mixture was added dropwise to the 293T-phoenix cells and the tissue culture dish was gently rocked to ensure even distribution of the mixture. The cells were incubated for 16-20 hours at 37° C.

For the collection of recombinant viral particles, 16-20 hours after transfection the culture medium of 293T-phoenix cells was replaced with 10 ml fresh medium. After additional incubation for 24 hours at 37° C., supernatant containing the viral particles was collected. Supernatants were filtered through a 0.45 M filter (Sartorius, Goettingen, Germany). 10 ml of fresh medium was added to the transfected cells for 24 hours incubation.

Example 1. HLA-B35 Correlates with a Favorable Outcome Following Adjuvant Administration of an HLA-Matched Allogeneic Melanoma Vaccine

A total of forty two patients were recruited for the inventors study between September 2002 and July 2009. The mean age at initial diagnosis was 50 years (median 51 years). Other demographic and clinical data including gender, stage of disease, and HLA phenotype of the patients are summarized in Table 6. Each patient was vaccinated at least five times. HLA phenotype of the lines used for vaccination is shown in Table 3, and phenotype of each patient, and cell lines used for individual vaccination, are summarized in Table 5.

TABLE 6 Demographic, clinical and HLA phenotype data of the study cohort No. of patients % of total Total 42 100 Gender Male 27 64 Female 15 36 Age range 1-78 years (Mean: 50) Stage* IIB (T4) 14 33 Micrometastases (N1-2a) 15 36 Macrometastases (N1-3b) 13 31 Frequent HLA HLA-A02 12 29 phenotypes HLA-A01 11 26 HLA-B07 10 24 HLA-B35 13 31 HLA-B38 10 24 *T and N classifications according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging System

Disease Free Survival (DFS) and Overall Survival (OS)

Patients were followed up for a period of 4-86 months (mean 49 months). The 5-year overall survival of the entire cohort was 75% and the disease free survival was 67% (Table 7). Overall survival correlated favorably with a DTH response of at least 5 mm (p=0.03, Table 8) to two out of the three cell lines used to vaccinate a patient, whereas DFS did not correlate with DTH response (p=0.38). Patient outcome at the time of the analysis outlined in Table 9 further shows that a majority of the patients (76%) had no evidence of disease (NED) at the time of analysis.

Due to the small study cohort, the inventors elected not to analyze survival breakdown by UICC-AJCC disease stage.

TABLE 7 Disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of the patients participating in the study Median Mean (months) 5-year survival rate DFS Not reached 60 (49-71*) 61% OS Not reached 70 (60-79)  75% *Lower bound and higher bound 95% confidence intervals

TABLE 8 Correlation of OS with delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) to at least two of the lines that composed the vaccine DTH Median (months) Mean (months) significance >5 mm Not reached 75 .03 <5 mm 66 49

TABLE 9 Status of the patients at the end of the study Status No. of patients % of total NED* 32 76 AWD 2 5 DOD 8 19

Correlation of Disease Outcome with HLA Phenotype

As clearly shown in FIG. 1 correlation was found between two HLA-B phenotypes and disease outcome (Cum Survival indicates cumulative). First, as shown in FIG. 1A, patient's group expressing the HLA-B35 phenotype had a mean DFS time of seventy nine months (with median not reached), compared to forty nine months for the non-HLA-B35 group (p=0.029). Better OS of the HLA-B35 phenotype group was also observed (FIG. 1B, p=0.033, all cases censored). Of the thirteen patients with HLA-B35 phenotype, twelve were vaccinated using at least one line with this phenotype (Table 5). Second, the group with an HLA-B07 phenotype had a significantly shorter OS time interval compared to the non-HLA-B07 group (p=0.003). However, for this phenotype group, DFS was not significantly affected (FIG. 1).

These results clearly show a positive correlation between a favorable disease outcome and the B35 HLA phenotype. This advantage was not due to one particularly immunogenic donor line, as patients were vaccinated with different cell lines with the B35 phenotype (Table 5). Therefore the inventors further present in the following Examples new cell lines expressing the HLA-B35 phenotype, for use as efficient melanoma cell vaccines.

Example 2. Development and Characterization of Cell Line Sh-M-20

In attempt to create efficient cell vaccine the inventors developed a melanoma cell line expressing B35 phenotype.

A lymph node was obtained from a 73 year old man diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. To the inventors knowledge, the patient did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time the biopsy was taken. No known epidemic was prevalent at the time.

Cell line was established as described in Experimental Procedures.

HLA phenotyping was performed on melanoma cells as described above, defining a phenotype of HLA A24; A33, B35; B49, CW04/12(04/08).

The cell line was next assayed for the following melanoma associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp100, Melan A/MART-I, using the alkaline phosphatase anti-alkaline phosphatase (APAAP) reaction (Zymed). As shown by the staining presented by FIG. 2, all examined melanoma associated antigens are expressed by the SH-M-20 cell line.

Expression of High Molecular Weight Melanoma Associated Antigen (HMW-MAA) in SH-M-20 cells, as well as expression of HLA-A, B, C was detected as shown by the FACS analysis of FIG. 3A. As can be seen from the figure, these cells express HMW and to a higher extant also HLA-A, B, C antigens.

The FACS analysis presented by FIG. 3B clearly indicates that the SH-M-20 cell line highly express CD146 and to a lesser extent, the melanoma cell surface antigen MCSA.

As shown by the RT-PCR analysis of FIG. 4, SH-M-20 cells express MAGE-A3, at a small extant express MAGE-A1, and do not express NY-ESO-1 cancer-testis antigens.

These cells were further characterized by examining the ability to form tumors in vivo. Therefore, Male CD1 nu/nu mice were injected s.c. in the upper back with 1×106 SH-M-20 cells admixed 1:1 with Matrigel (BD Biosciences). As shown by FIG. 5, tumors were seen with mice that were injected with cells in Matrigel.

The SH-M-20 cell line was deposited under the Budapest's treaty under the accession number 11052602.

Example 3. Development and Characterization of Cell Line SH-M-20-A2

The Examiners next examined the possible effect of exogenously expressing an HLA antigen, by the established cell line. Therefore a stable transfection of the HLA A2 antigen was next performed on SH-M-20 cells.

The SH-M-20-A2 clone is a stable HLA-A2 transfectant of SH-M-20 cells, established after transfection with pcDNA3-HLA-A2 plasmid, as described in experimental procedures.

For the generation of the pcDNA3-HLA-A2 plasmid, the HLA-A0201 full-length cDNA containing the HLA-A0201 open reading frame with EcoRI restriction sites in 3′-end and 5′-end was cloned into EcoRI unique restriction site of pcDNA3 expression vector. Following transfection, expression of surface HLA-A2 was confirmed by FACS staining with HLA-A2-specific mAb (clone BB7.2).

The expression of HLA-A2 was evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) using an HLA-A2 specific BB7.2 monoclonal antibody (mAb; AbD Serotec) as shown by FIG. 6.

The expression of different melanoma associated antigens, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1, by the SH-M-20-A2 cells as well as the ability of tumor formation in vivo was found to be identical to the parent SH-M-20 shown in FIG. 4.

SH-M-20-A2 process and present tumor-associated antigens in a HLA-A2-specific manner and stimulate CD8 T cells derived from HLA-A2+ melanoma patients.

The inventors next examined the ability of the SH-M-20-A2 cells that exogenously express HLA-A2 antigen, to induce a direct activation of CD8 cells.

Therefore, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), derived from an HLA-A*0201+ melanoma patient were co-cultured with SH-M-20-A2 melanoma. The 624mel (HLA-A2+) and parental SH-M-20 (HLA-A2−) melanomas were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. In vitro cytotoxicity assays were performed as described earlier [Machlenkin. et al., Clinical Cancer Research 11:4955-4961 (2005)]. Briefly, lymphocytes were washed, resuspended in complete medium consisting of RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% heat-inactivated human AB serum, 2 mmol/L L-glutamine, 1 mmol/L sodium pyruvate, 1% nonessential amino acids, 25 mmol/L HEPES (pH 7.4), 50 μmol/L β-mercaptoethanol, and combined antibiotics, and admixed at different ratios with 5,000 [35S]L-methionine labeled melanoma. CTL assays were performed in U-shaped microtiter wells at 37° C., 5% CO2 for 5 h. Percentage of specific lysis was calculated as follows: % lysis=(cpm in experimental well−cpm spontaneous release)/(cpm maximal release−cpm spontaneous release)×100. As clearly demonstrated by FIG. 7, there is efficient killing of 624 mel and SH-M-20-A2 but not of SH-M-20 cells. These results further demonstrate the feasibility of using an exogenously expressed HLA antigen to stimulate specific presentation of tumor antigens to cognate T cells.

The inventors next examined the ability of the exogenously expressed HLA-A2 antigen to stimulate specific inflammatory response by measuring IFN-γ secretion. JKF6 is a TIL culture of known specificity (MART 1/Melan A27-35-HLA-A2) that was used in these experiments. Therefore, TILs from HLA-A2+ melanoma patients were co-cultured with SH-M-20-A2 versus parental SH-M-20 cells for 20 h followed by analysis of IFN-γ secretion by ELISA (R&D). FIG. 8 clearly demonstrates that all tested TILs secreted ample amounts of IFN-γ as a result of co-culture with SH-M-20-A2 but not with SH-M-20. 624mel and 888mel melanomas were used as HLA-A2+ and A2− negative controls, respectively.

The SH-M-20-A2 cell line was deposited under the Budapest's treaty under the accession number 11052604.

Example 4. Development and Characterization of Cell Line SH-M-21

In an attempt to provide variety of tumor cell lines for use as allogeneic combined cell vaccine, the SH-M-21 cell line was next established.

A lymph node was obtained from an 88 year old man with metastatic melanoma. Following diagnosis the patient underwent autologous melanoma vaccination, IL-2 treatment and chemotherapy, but died three years later. To the inventor's knowledge, the patient did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time the biopsy was taken. No known epidemic was prevalent at the time.

HLA phenotyping was performed on melanoma cells as described above. The phenotypes found were HLA-A2/24, HLA-B35.

The melanoma cell line was next assayed for expression of melanoma associated antigens using the SuperPicture HRP Polymer Conjugate Broad Spectrum (AEC) kit (Invitrogen) and FACS analysis. As indicated by Table 10, both S-100 and the melanoma associated antigen GD3 are highly expressed by the SH-M-21 cell line, whereas these cells do not express the gp100 TAA.

TABLE 10 Expression of different TAA's by the SH-M-21 cell line Cell line S-100 HMB-45 R-24 Class I Class II SH-M-21 +4* 0% +3 +4 +4 *The number proceeded by the + sign expresses the strength of staining (+1, weakest; +4, strongest).

Sub Cloning of the Cell Lines

The original cell line SH-M-21 was further sub cloned by limiting dilution. Cloning was performed by distributing two cells/well in 96-well plates using Olga medium. Eight clones were obtained, and Clone #5 was chosen, based on stronger antigen expression and growth. This clone, termed SH-M-21.5, was used to prepare the master cell bank. Clone 14, SH-M-21.14 was also further grown, and 20 vials were frozen as a master cell bank backup. This clone expressed the same markers as SH-M-21.5, differing only in the strength of their expression. Table 11 summarizes the information for these two sub clones.

TABLE 11 Expression of different TAA's by the SH-M-21 sub clones Passage # date no. MAGE-3 NY-ESO of vials SH-M-21.5 24-28/10/2010 10-11 80% +1* 80% +2 25 SH-M-21.14 24/10/2010 9 30% +1 10% +1 20 *the percentage expresses the number of cells stained out of the total number of cells; the number preceded by the + sign expresses the strength of the staining (+1, weakest; +4, strongest).

The SH-M-21 cell line was deposited under the Budapest's treaty under the accession number 11052601.

Example 5. Development and Characterization of Cell Line SH-L-40

To further examine the effect of the HLA B35 antigen in cell vaccines other than melanoma, the inventors next established a lung metastasis carcinoma cell line expressing the B-35 phenotype. Therefore, pleural fluid was obtained from an 88 year old female with Carcinoma of upper lobe, diagnosed in 2009. The patient was also diagnosed for hypothyroidism, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic renal failure, peripheral vascular disease, chronic diplopia. The patient died on Feb. 10, 2010. To the inventor's knowledge, the patient did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time the biopsy was taken. No known epidemic was prevalent at the time.

HLA phenotyping was preformed as described above, defining phenotypes of A*26 A*28 B*14 B*35 DRB*01 DRB1*04.

Epithelial cell markers were measured using the SuperPicture HRP Polymer Conjugate Broad Spectrum (AEC) kit, according to the manufactures instructions. Secreted markers were measured by ELISA using the Immulite system (Cell Marque). These assays were performed in the Laboratory for Cancer Markers, Mount Scopus Campus, Hadassah Medical Organization. The results are summarized in Table 12.

TABLE 12 Expression of different epithelial cell markers by the SH-L-40 cell line Cell markers Secreted markers PAN Cell line CEA CA15-3 CA-125 cytokeratin CEA MAGE NYESO-1 MUC-1 SH-L-40 25.3 47.2 28.9 80%(+4) 20%-50%(+2) 20%(+2) 0% 20%(+2)

As shown by the table, the established cell line highly expresses cytokeratin, and moderately expresses carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), MAGE and MUC-1, but does not express NYESO-1. In addition, the line secreted CEA, cancer antigen (CA)15-3 and CA-125. Taken together, these results point towards the epithelial source of the tumor.

The SH-L-40 ell line was deposited under the Budapest's treaty under the accession number 11052605.

Example 6. Development and Characterization of Cell Line SH-O-30

In yet another embodiment for a carcinoma cell vaccine, the inventors next established an ovary carcinoma cell line.

Ascetic fluid was obtained from a 57 year old female diagnosed with metastatic papillary cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary stage IV. Following diagnosis, partial debulking was performed and the patient was treated with combination chemotherapy of cytoxan, adriamycin, cis-platinum and 6-hexamethyl melamine for one year. At the time the fluid was obtained, no remission was achieved, and the patient died two months later. To the inventor's knowledge, the patient did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time the biopsy was taken. No known epidemic was prevalent at the time.

HLA phenotyping was performed on melanoma cells as described above. The phenotypes found were A03/25 B08/18 DRB1.

Expression of tumor markers was measured using the SuperPicture HRP Polymer Conjugate Broad Spectrum (AEC) kit. Secreted markers were measured by ELISA using the Immulite system.

Sub Cloning of SH-O-30 Cell Line

The original cell line was sub cloned by limiting dilution (September, 2010). Cloning was performed by distributing 2 cells/well in 96-well plates using Olga medium. Fourteen clones were obtained. Clone 10 was chosen, based on antigen expression and growth. This clone, termed SH-O-30.10, was used to prepare the master cell bank. Clone 2, SH-O-30.2 was also further grown, and 30 vials were frozen as a master cell backup. This clone expressed the same markers as SH-O-30.10, differing only in the strength of their expression.

Table 13 summarizes the expression of different antigens by said sub clones.

TABLE 13 Expression of different epithelial cell markers by the SH-0-30 cell line date Passage no. CEA1 Ca-125-sec CEA-sec2 # of vials SH-O-30.10 20 Oct. 2010 9 40% +23 492 9 50 SH-O-30.2 20 Oct. 2010 9 20% +3 316 6.6 30 CEA1 (carcinoembryonic antigen) cell marker. CEA-sec2, secreted CEA. 3the percentage expresses the number of cells stained out of the total number of cells; the number preceded by the + sign expresses the strength of the staining (+1, weakest; +4, strongest).

SH-O-30 cell line was deposited under the Budapest's treaty under the accession number 11052603.

Example 7. Establishment of Melanoma Specific T Lymphocytes from Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

Analysis of phenotype and function of the cells obtained following two stimulations in the presence or absence of autologous melanoma

As indicated in Example 3, the inventors examined the ability of the cell line SH-M-20-A2 to stimulate certain T cell population specific for the HLA antigen presented by the cells. Therefore, specific TIL cell lines were established and characterized.

FIGS. 9 and 10 summarize the phenotype and activity of lymphocytes following stimulation in the presence of autologous melanoma (right columns) or in in vitro expanded cells in the absence of autologous melanoma (middle columns).

Following stimulation, the distribution of CD4+ and CD8+ cells was 85% and 15% respectively. The level of CD137 (also known as 4-1BB) expression, a surface co-stimulatory glycoprotein present on activated T lymphocytes, was determined on CD4 and CD8 cells. The results show that incubation in the presence of autologous melanoma induced a marked increase in CD137 expression on CD4+ lymphocytes (FIG. 1). Increase of CD137 on CD8+ cells (FIG. 10) was less marked, due to higher levels of non-specific stimulation.

FIG. 11 shows IFN-γ secretion of melanoma-stimulated lymphocytes, following a 24 hour re-stimulation in vitro in the presence or absence of autologous melanoma. Autologous melanoma clearly induced highly significant levels of IFN-γ secretion.

Analysis of Phenotype and Function of Lymphocytes Following Rapid Expansion (REP)

Following in vitro stimulation in the presence of autologous melanoma, cells were incubated in the presence of OKT3 for REP. On day 6 of REP, the percentage of CD4+ cells in the cultures increased to 95% of the total number of lymphocytes. At this point, the cultured cells were divided. One part continued the REP as before (bulk), and the other part was separated by magnetic beads to obtain purified CD4+ and CD8+ populations. Both the bulk and the purified cells continued the REP until day 13. On day 13 (end of REP), the percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes in the bulk increased to >95%.

Table 14 summarizes the measurement of IFN-γ secretion during (day 6) and after (day 14) REP, following 24 hours of re-stimulation in vitro in the presence or absence of autologous melanoma. From the data presented, it appears that in these cultures, the major cell population contributing to IFN-γ secretion is CD4+ cells.

In the course of the REP, bulk lymphocyte proliferated ×1,700. A total of 109 bulk cells were cryo-preserved. 108 CD4+ cells were also cryo-preserved.

A population of CD4+ activated melanoma-reactive lymphocytes was obtained from peripheral blood NANC-GS-1457, and cryo-preserved.

TABLE 14 IFN-gamma secretion by patient-derived PBMC following in vitro stimulation with melanoma and in vitro Rapid Expansion Procedure ELISA (pg/ml). Targets irrelevant melanoma autologous melanoma day 6 CD8 0 1,800 CD4 0 >10,000 bulk lymphocytes 60 >10,000 day 13 CD8 n.d. n.d. CD4 0 43,900 bulk lymphocytes 0 45,000

Example 8. Generation of HLA-A2-Specific T Cells Against Tumor (Epithelial)-Associated Antigens

In this series of experiments, HLA-A2-specific T cells against epithelial tumor-associated antigens, were produced as a tool to measure the functional success of HLA-A2 transfection of epithelial tumor cell lines.

To this end, RNA encoding alpha and beta chains of TCR, specific to HLA-A2-restricted epitope of p53 protein, was electroporated into donor peripheral blood cells. Using this tactic, we took advantage of the fact that p53 is a common antigen overexpressed in many tumors, including ovary, gastric and melanoma. The results from these experiments show that T cells that specifically recognize HLA-A2-restricted epitope of p53 antigen were successfully produced. These T cells could be used as a tool to measure (i) the functionality of the inserted HLA-A2 into epithelial tumor cell lines; (ii) immunogenicity of the epithelial vaccine.

Example 9. HLA-A2 Transgene Expression in Epithelial Cancer Cell Lines

Initially, a number of attempts were performed to transduce SH-O-30 ovary cell line with HLA-A2-encoding DNA plasmid, using pcDNA3-HLA-A2 construct, described above. In contrast to melanoma cell lines, SH-0-30 did not stably express HLA-A2, although transient appearance of the transgene was observed. To circumvent a low efficiency of DNA-based transfection of the cells, transfection by viral vectors, exemplified by retroviral construct MSGV1-HLA-A0201-ires-Neo (SEQ ID NO: 15, described below), was performed.

Transfection/transduction was performed as follows. Viral particles were produced as described in Experimental Procedures above. SH-L-40 and SH-O-30.10 were routinely cultured in 60% Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM), 20% RPM 1640 medium and 20% F12 medium supplemented with 10% Fetal Calf Serum (all from Gibco-BRL, Gaithersburg, Md.), 1 mM L-glutamine, 100 u/ml penicillin and 50 g/ml streptomycin.

24 hours prior to transfection, 0.4×106 SH-L-40 or SH-O-30.10 cells were plated on a 6 well tissue culture plate. Cells were incubated over-night at 37° C. The next day, transduction was performed.

SH-L-40 and SH-O-30.10 cells were incubated over night with 10 ml of the virus containing medium, in the presence of 4 g/ml polybrene (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo.) at 37° C. This step was repeated, and after 2 days 1.2 mg/ml of selection antibiotics (G-418) was added.

HLA-A2 expression on selected cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. Using this approach, a number of SH-O-30.10 clones with stable expression of surface HLA-A2 were produced (FIG. 12A). In the same way, HLA-A2+ clones were established for the gastric SH-L-40 cell line (FIG. 12B).

Functional validation of HLA-A2 molecules on SHO-30.10-A2 and SH-L-40-A2 clones was performed by co-culture of these clones with p53 αβTCR-transduced lymphocytes. FIG. 13 summarizes the results of flow cytometry experiments in which p53-specific T cells exhibited potent activation, as measured by CD137 up-regulation, against HLA-A2+ but not HLA-AZ clones. In line with these results, robust activation of p53 specific T cells against HLA-A2+ clones was confirmed by IFNγ ELISA, as shown in FIG. 14. Full histograms—p53 specific T cells; empty histograms—control cells; SH-O-30-GFP-pulsed—GFP transduced SH-O-30.10 cells pulsed with the p53 derived peptide; SH-O-30-A2-pulsed—HLA-A2 transduced SH-O-30.10 cells pulsed with the p53 derived peptide; SH-L-40-GFP-pulsed—GFP transduced SH-L-40 pulsed with the p53 derived peptide; SH-L-40-A2-pulsed—HLA-A2 transduced SH-L-40 pulsed with the p53 derived peptide.

Example 10. Cloning and Stable Expression of 4-1BBL Transgene in SH-M-20-A2 Cells

Due to the lack of a constitutively active CD40 transgene to affect vaccine immunogenicity, it was decided to examine the vaccine cells' ability of co-stimulation of cognate T cells via 4-1BBL-4-1BB pair. To this end, SH-M-20-A2 cells were transfected with 4-1BBL-encoding construct (pcDNA3.1-4-1BBL-Hygro+, described below).

The double-transfected clones (HLA-A2+4-1BBL+) were established, as shown in FIG. 15 (clones P1A3 and P1B2, histograms IV and V). An improvement of tumor cell ability to stimulate tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was demonstrated in IFNγ ELISA using 4-1BBL single-transfected clones of 624 (originally HLA-A2+), as targets (Table 15).

Tumor-infiltrated lymphocytes derived from HLA-A2-positive melanoma patients M209 and M431 were co-cultured with HLA-A2+ melanoma cells 624 (624mock_N7—pcDNA3.1-mock transfected) or with 4-1BBL-expressing clones (62441BBL_H1, 62441BBL_H6, 624_41BBL_H12, 624_41BBL_N4, and 624_41BBL_N7—pcDNA3.1-4-1BBL-Hygro+ transfected). T cell activity was measured by IFNγ ELISA 20 h after co-culture.

TABLE 15 Improved immunogenicity of tumor cells by de novo expression of 4-1BBL. IFNγ secretion in presence of target cell Clone TIL 209 (A2+) TIL 431 (A2+) 624mock_N7 4860 880 624_41BBL_H1 6900 992 624_41BBL_H6 6750 1520 624_41BBL_H12 9620 3480 624_41BBL_N4 9070 2040 624_41BBL_N7 8250 2200

Example 11. Sequences

The protein sequence of human MHC class I antigen, HLA-B35, (the HLA-B″3501 or B*35:01:01:01 allele) is identified as SEQ ID NO: 1, as follows:

(SEQ ID NO: 1; accession no. Uniprot P30685) MRVTAPRTVLLLLWGAVALTETWAGSHSMRYFYTAMSRPGRGEPR FIAVGYVDDTQFVRFDSDAASPRTEPRAPWIEQEGPEYWDRNTQIF KTNTQTYRESLRNLRGYYNQSEAGSHIIQRMYGCDLGPDGRLLRGH DQSAYDGKDYIALNEDLSSWTAADTAAQITQRKWEAARVAEQLRAY LEGLCVEWLRRYLENGKETLQRADPPKTHVTHHPVSDHEATLRCW ALGFYPAEITLTWQRDGEDQTQDTELVETRPAGDRIFQKWAAVVVP SGEEQRYTCHVQHEGLPKPLTLRWEPSSQSTIPIVGIVAGLAVLAVV VIGAVVATVMCRRKSSGGKGGSYSQAASSDSAQGSDVSLTA

The nucleic acid sequence of the mRNA encoding human MHC class I antigen, HLA-B35 (HLA-B*3501 allele) is identified as SEQ ID NO: 2, as follows:

(SEQ ID NO: 2) Atgcgggtcacggcgccccgaaccgtcctcctgctgctctggggggcagt ggccctgaccgagacctgggccggctccca ctccatgaggtatttctacaccgccatgtcccggcccggccgcggggagc cccgcttcatcgcagtgggctacgtggacgacacccagttcgtgaggttc gacagcgacgccgcgagtccgaggacggagccccgggcgccatggataga gcaggaggggccggagtattgggaccggaacacacagatcttcaagacca acacacagacttaccgagagagcctgcggaacctgcgcggctactacaac cagagcgaggccgggtctcacatcatccagaggatgtatggctgcgacct ggggcccgacgggcgcctcctccgcgggcatgaccagtccgcctacgacg gcaaggattacatcgccctgaacgaggacctgagctcctggaccgcggcg gacaccgcggctcagatcacccagcgcaagtgggaggcggcccgtgtggc ggagcagctgagagcctacctggagggcctgtgcgtggagtggctccgca gatacctggagaacgggaaggagacgctgcagcgcgcggaccccccaaag acacacgtgacccaccaccccgtctctgaccatgaggccaccctgaggtg ctgggccctgggcttctaccctgcggagatcacactgacctggcagcggg atggcgaggaccaaactcaggacactgagcttgtggagaccagaccagca ggagatagaaccttccagaagtgggcagctgtggtggtgccttctggaga agagcagagatacacatgccatgtacagcatgaggggctgccgaagcccc tcaccctgagatgggagccatcttcccagtccaccatccccatcgtgggc attgttgctggcctggctgtcctagcagttgtggtcatcggagctgtggt cgctactgtgatgtgtaggaggaagagctcaggtggaaaaggagggagct actctcaggctgcgtccagcgacagtgcccagggctctgatgtgtctctc acagcttga

The nucleic acid sequence of the complete genomic sequence of human MHC class I antigen, HLA-B35 (HLA-B*3501 allele) is identified as SEQ ID NO: 3, as follows:

(SEQ ID NO: 3) gatcaggacgaagtcccaggccccgggcggggctctcagggtctcaggct ccgagagccttgtctgcattggggaggcgcagcgttggggattccccact cccacgagtttcacttcttctcccaacctatgtcgggtccttcttccagg atactcgtgacgcgtccccatttcccactcccattgggtgtcggatatct agagaagccaatcagtgtcgccggggtcccagttctaaagtccccacgca cccacccggactcagaatctcctcagacgccgagatgcgggtcacggcgc cccgaaccgtcctcctgctgctctggggggcagtggccctgaccgagacc tgggccggtgagtgcggggtcgggagggaaatggcctctgtggggaggag cgaggggaccgcaggcgggggcgcaggacctgaggagccgcgccgggagg agggtcgggcgggtctcagcccctcctcgcccccaggctcccactccatg aggtatttctacaccgccatgtcccggcccggccgcggggagccccgctt catcgcagtgggctacgtggacgacacccagttcgtgaggttcgacagcg acgccgcgagtccgaggacggagccccgggcgccatggatagagcaggag gggccggagtattgggaccggaacacacagatcttcaagaccaacacaca gacttaccgagagagcctgcggaacctgcgcggctactacaaccagagcg aggccggtgagtgaccccggcccggggcgcaggtcacgactccccatccc ccacgtacggcccgggtcgccccgagtctccgggtccgagatccgcctcc ctgaggccgcgggacccgcccagaccctcgaccggcgagagccccaggcg cgtttacccggtttcattttcagttgaggccaaaatccccgcgggttggt cggggcggggcggggctcgggggacggggctgaccgcggggccggggcca gggtctcacatcatccagaggatgtatggctgcgacctggggcccgacgg gcgcctcctccgcgggcatgaccagtccgcctacgacggcaaggattaca tcgccctgaacgaggacctgagctcctggaccgcggcggacaccgcggct cagatcacccagcgcaagtgggaggcggcccgtgtggcggagcagctgag agcctacctggagggcctgtgcgtggagtggctccgcagatacctggaga acgggaaggagacgctgcagcgcgcgggtaccaggggcagtggggagcct tccccatctcctataggtcgccggggatggcctcccacgagaagaggagg aaaatgggatcagcgctagaatgtcgccctcccttgaatggagaatggca tgagttttcctgagtttcctctgagggccccctcttctctctaggacaat taagggatgacgtctctgaggaaatggaggggaagacagtccctagaata ctgatcaggggtcccctttgacccctgcagcagccttgggaaccgtgact tttcctctcaggccttgttctctgcctcacactcagtgtgtttggggctc tgattccagcacttctgagtcactttacctccactcagatcaggagcaga agtccctgttccccgctcagagactcgaactttccaatgaataggagatt atcccaggtgcctgcgtccaggctggtgtctgggttctgtgccccttccc cacaccaggtgtcctgtccattctcaggctggtcacatgggtggtcctag ggtgtcccatgagagatgcaaagcgcctgaattttctgactcttcccatc agaccccccaaagacacacgtgacccaccaccccgtctctgaccatgagg ccaccctgaggtgctgggccctgggcttctaccctgcggagatcacactg acctggcagcgggatggcgaggaccaaactcaggacactgagcttgtgga gaccagaccagcaggagatagaaccttccagaagtgggcagctgtggtgg tgccttctggagaagagcagagatacacatgccatgtacagcatgagggg ctgccgaagcccctcaccctgagatggggtaaggagggggatgaggggtc atatctcttctcagggaaagcaggagcccttctggagcccttcagcaggg tcagggcccctcgtcttcccctcctttcccagagccatcttcccagtcca ccatccccatcgtgggcattgttgctggcctggctgtcctagcagttgtg gtcatcggagctgtggtcgctactgtgatgtgtaggaggaagagctcagg tagggaaggggtgaggggtggggtctgggttttcttgtcccactgggggt ttcaagccccaggtagaagtgttccctgcctcattactgggaagcagcat ccacacaggggctaacgcagcctgggaccctgtgtgccagcacttactct tttgtgcagcacatgtgacaatgaaggacggatgtatcaccttgatggtt gtggtgttggggtcctgatttcagcattcatgagtcaggggaaggtccct gctaaggacagaccttaggagggcagttggtccaggacccacacttgctt tcctcgtgtttcctgatcctgccttgggtctgtagtcatacttctggaaa ttccttttgggtccaagacgaggaggttcctctaagatctcatggccctg cttcctcccagtcccctcacaggacattttcttcccacaggtggaaaagg agggagctactctcaggctgcgtgtaagtggtgggggtgggagtgtggag gagctcacccaccccataattcctcctgtcccacgtctcctgcgggctct gaccaggtcctgtttttgttctactccagccagcgacagtgcccagggct ctgatgtgtctctcacagcttgaaaaggtgagattcttggggtctagagt gggcggggggggcggggagggggcagaggggaaaggcctgggtaatggag attctttgattgggatgtttcgcgtgtgtcgtgggctgttcagagtgtca tcacttaccatgactaaccagaatttgttcatgactgttgttttctgtag cctgagacagctgtcttgtgagggactgagatgcaggatttcttcactcc tcccctttgtgacttcaagggcctctggcatctctttctgcaaaggcacc tgaatgtgtctgegtccctgttagcctaatgtgaggaggtggagagacag cccacccccgtgtccactgtgacccct.

For example, human MHC class I antigen (HLA-A) mRNA, HLA-A*0201 allele may have the following nucleic acid sequence:

(SEQ ID NO: 5; genebank no. AY365426.1) atggccgtca tggcgccccg aaccctcgtc ctgctactct cgggggctct ggccctgacccagacctggg cgggctctca ctccatgagg tatttcttca catccgtgtc ccggcccggc cgcggggagc cccgcttcat cgcagtgggc tacgtggacg acacgcagtt cgtgcggttc gacagcgacg ccgcgagcca gaggatggag ccgcgggcgc cgtggataga gcaggagggt ccggagtatt gggacgggga gacacggaaa gtgaaggccc actcacagac tcaccgagtg gacctgggga ccctgcgcgg ctactacaac cagagcgagg ccggttctca caccgtccag aggatgtatg gctgcgacgt ggggtcggac tggcgcttcc tccgcgggta ccaccagtac gcctacgacg gcaaggatta catcgccctg aaagaggacc tgcgctcttg gaccgcggcg gacatggcag ctcagaccac caagcacaag tgggaggcgg cccatgtggc ggagcagttg agagcctacc tggagggcac gtgcgtggag tggctccgca gatacctgga gaacgggaag gagacgctgc agcgcacgga cgcccccaaa acgcatatga ctcaccacgc tgtctctgac catgaagcca ccctgaggtg ctgggccctg agcttctacc ctgcggagat cacactgacc tggcagcggg atggggagga ccagacccag gacacggagc tcgtggagac caggcctgca ggggatggaa ccttccagaa gtgggcggct gtggtggtgc cttctggaca ggagcagaga tacacctgcc atgtgcagca tgagggtttg cccaagcccc tcaccctgag atgggagccg tcttcccagc ccaccatccc catcgtgggc atcattgctg gcctggttct ctttggagct gtgatcactg gagctgtggt cgctgctgtg atgtggagga ggaagagctc agatagaaaa ggagggagct actctcaggc tgcaagcagt gacagtgccc agggctctga tgtgtctctc acagcttgta aagtgtga,

and the corresponding gene product has the following amino acid sequence:

(SEQ ID NO: 4) MAVMAPRTLVLLLSGALALTQTWAGSHSMRYFFTSVSRPGRGEPR FIAVGYVDDTQFVRFDSDAASQRMEPRAPWIEQEGPEYWDGETRK VKAHSQTHRVDLGTLRGYYNQSEAGSHTVQRMYGCDVGSDWRFL RGYHQYAYDGKDYIALKEDLRSWTAADMAAQTTKHKWEAAHVAEQ LRAYLEGTCVEWLRRYLENGKETLQRTDAPKTHMTHHAVSDHEATL RCWALSFYPAEITLTWQRDGEDQTQDTELVETRPAGDGTFQKWAA VVVPSGQEQRYTCHVQHEGLPKPLTLRWEPSSQPTIPIVGIIAGLVLF GAVITGAVVAAVMWRRKSSDRKGGSYSQAASSDSAOGSDVSLTAC KV.

Human 41-BBL may have the amino acid sequence:

(SEQ ID NO: 6; accession no. P41273) MEYASDASLDPEAPWPPAPRARACRVLPWALVAGLLLLLLLAAACA VFLACPWAVSGARASPGSAASPRLREGPELSPDDPAGLLDLRQGM FAQLVAQNVLLIDGPLSWYSDPGLAGVSLTGGLSYKEDTKELVVAKA GVYYVFFQLELRRVVAGEGSGSVSLALHLQPLRSAAGAAALALTVDL PPASSEARNSAFGFQGRLLHLSAGQRLGVHLHTEARARHAWQLTQ GATVLGLFRVTPEIPAGLPSPRSE.

A nucleic acid sequence coding for 41-BBL (mRNA) may be represented by SEQ ID NO:7, as follows:

(SEQ ID NO: 7; accession no. U03398.1) gtcatggaat acgcctctga cgcttcactg gaccccgaag ccccgtggcc tcccgcgccccgcgctcgcg cctgccgcgt actgccttgg gccctggtcg cggggctgct gctgctgctg ctgctcgctg ccgcctgcgc cgtcttcctc gcctgcccct gggccgtgtc cggggctcgc gcctcgcccg gctccgcggc cagcccgaga ctccgcgagg gtcccgagct ttcgcccgac gatcccgccg gcctcttgga cctgcggcag ggcatgtttg cgcagctggt ggcccaaaat gttctgctga tcgatgggcc cctgagctgg tacagtgacc caggcctggc aggcgtgtcc ctgacggggg gcctgagcta caaagaggac acgaaggagc tggtggtggc caaggctgga gtctactatg tcttctttca actagagctg cggcgcgtgg tggccggcga gggctcaggc tccgtttcac ttgcgctgca cctgcagcca ctgcgctctg ctgctggggc cgccgccctg gctttgaccg tggacctgcc acccgcctcc tccgaggctc ggaactcggc cttcggtttc cagggccgct tgctgcacct gagtgccggc cagcgcctgg gcgtccatct tcacactgag gccagggcac gccatgcctg gcagcttacc cagggcgcca cagtcttggg actcttccgg gtgacccccg aaatcccagc cggactccct tcaccgaggt cggaataacg cccagcctgg gtgcagccca cctggacaga gtccgaatcc tactccatcc ttcatggaga cccctggtgc tgggtccctg ctgctttctc tacctcaagg ggcttggcag gggtccctgc tgctgacctc cccttgagga ccctcctcac ccactccttc cccaagttgg accttgatat ttattctgag cctgagctca gataatatat tatatatatt atatatatat atatatttct atttaaagag gatcctgagt ttgtgaatgg acttttttag aggagttgtt ttgggggggg ggtcttcgac attgccgagg ctggtcttga actcctggac ttagacgatc ctcctgcctc agcctcccaa gcaactggga ttcatccttt ctattaattc attgtactta tttgcctatt tgtgtgtatt gagcatctgt aatgtgccag cattgtgccc aggctagggg gctatagaaa catctagaaa tagactgaaa gaaaatctga gttatggtaa tacgtgagga atttaaagac tcatccccag cctccacctc ctgtgtgata cttgggggct agcttttttc tttctttctt ttttttgaga tggtcttgtt ctgtcaacca ggctagaatg cagcggtgca atcatgagtc aatgcagcct ccagcctcga cctcccgagg ctcaggtgat cctcccatct cagcctctcg agtagctggg accacagttg tgtgccacca cacttggcta actttttaat ttttttgcgg agacggtatt gctatgttgc caaggttgtt tacatgccag tacaatttat aataaacact catttttcc.

Thus, cells described herein may express SEQ ID NOs: 1 and 4, SEQ ID NOs: 1 and 6, SEQ ID NOs: 4 and 6, or SEQ ID NOs: 1, 4 and 6. Some cells express substantially identical sequences (containing conservative amino acid substitutions with >90% amino acid identity and no apparent or significant functional changes). Without limitation, these sequences may be considered equivalent to a sequence as set forth herein.

For example, the MSGV1-HLA-A0201-ires-Neo expression vector contains an HLA-A2 open reading frame (ORF) corresponding to nucleotides 3-1100 of SEQ ID NO: 15, encoding an HLA-A2 molecule corresponding to SEQ ID NO: 4, with a conservative substitution of Phe to Tyr at position 33. This ORF is transcriptionally linked via an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to a neomycin-encoding ORF. The ORFs are expressed from retroviral LTR sequences, positioned at nucleotides 2572-3086 (3′ LTR) and 6259-6772 (5′ LTR) of SEQ ID NO: 15.

The nucleic acid sequence of the exemplary retroviral vector MSGV1-HLA-A0201-ires-Neo is set forth below:

(SEQ ID NO: 15) 1 ccatggccgt catggcgccc cgaaccctcg tcctgctact ctcgggggct 51 ctggccctga cccagacctg ggcgggctct cactccatga ggtatttcta 101 cacctccgtg tcccggcccg gccgcgggga gccccgcttc atcgcagtgg 151 gctacgtgga caacacgcag ttcgtgcggt tcgacagcga cgccgcgagc 201 cagaggatgg agccgcgggc gccgtggata gagcaggagg gtccggagta 251 ttgggacggg gagacacgga aagtgaaggc ccactcacag actcaccgag 301 tggacctggg gaccctgcgc ggctactaca accagagcga ggccggttct 351 cacaccgtcc agaggatgta tggctgcgac gtggggtcgg actggcgctt 401 cctccgcggg taccaccagt acgcctacga cggcaaggat tacatcgccc 451 tgaaagagga cctgcgctct tggaccgcgg cggacatggc agctcagacc 501 accaagcaca agtgggaggc ggcccatgtg gcggagcagt tgagagccta 551 cctggagggc acgtgcgtgg agtggctccg cagatacctg gagaacggga 601 aggagacgct gcagcgcacg gacgccccca aaacgcatat gactcaccac 651 gctgtctctg accatgaagc caccctgagg tgctgggccc tgagcttcta 701 ccctgcggag atcacactga cctggcagcg ggatggggag gaccagaccc 751 aggacacgga gctcgtggag accaggcctg caggggatgg aaccttccag 801 aagtgggcgg ctgtggtggt gccttctgga caggagcaga gatacacctg 851 ccatgtgcag catgagggtt tgcccaagcc cctcaccctg agatgggagc 901 cgtcttccca gcccaccatc cccatcgtgg gcatcattgc tggcctggtt 951 ctctttggag ctgtgatcac tggagctgtg gtcgctgctg tgatgtggag 1001 gaggaagagc tcagatagaa aaggagggag ctactctcag gctgcaagca 1051 gtgacagtgc ccagggctct gatgtgtctc tcacagcttg taaagtgtga 1101 gcggccgctc gactgcagga attaattccg cccctctccc tccccccccc 1151 ctaacgttac tggccgaagc cgcttggaat aaggccggtg tgtgtttgtc 1201 tatatgtgat tttccaccat attgccgtct tttggcaatg tgagggcccg 1251 gaaacctggc cctgtcttct tgacgagcat tcctaggggt ctttcccctc 1301 tcgccaaagg aatgcaaggt ctgttgaatg tcgtgaagga agcagttcct 1351 ctggaagctt cttgaagaca aacaacgtct gtagcgaccc tttgcaggca 1401 gcggaacccc ccacctggcg acaggtgcct ctgcggccaa aagccacgtg 1451 tataagatac acctgcaaag gcggcacaac cccagtgcca cgttgtgagt 1501 tggatagttg tggaaagagt caaatggctc tcctcaagcg tagtcaacaa 1551 ggggctgaag gatgcccaga aggtacccca ttgtatggga atctgatctg 1601 gggcctcggt gcacatgctt tacatgtgtt tagtcgaggt taaaaaagct 1651 ctaggccccc cgaaccacgg ggacgtggtt ttcctttgaa aaacacgatg 1701 ataagcttgc cacaaccatg ggatcggcca ttgaacaaga tggattgcac 1751 gcaggttctc cggccgcttg ggtggagagg ctattcggct atgactgggc 1801 acaacagaca atcggctgct ctgatgccgc cgtgttccgg ctgtcagcgc 1851 aggggcgccc ggttcttttt gtcaagaccg acctgtccgg tgccctgaat 1901 gaactgcagg acgaggcagc gcggctatcg tggctggcca cgacgggcgt 1951 tccttgcgca gctgtgctcg acgttgtcac tgaagcggga agggactggc 2001 tgctattggg cgaagtgccg gggcaggatc tcctgtcatc tcaccttgct 2051 cctgccgaga aagtatccat catggctgat gcaatgcggc ggctgcatac 2101 gcttgatccg gctacctgcc cattcgacca ccaagcgaaa catcgcatcg 2151 agcgagcacg tactcggatg gaagccggtc ttgtcgatca ggatgatctg 2201 gacgaagagc atcaggggct cgcgccagcc gaactgttcg ccaggctcaa 2251 ggcgcgcatg cccgacggcg aggatctcgt cgtgacccat ggcgatgcct 2301 gcttgccgaa tatcatggtg gaaaatggcc gcttttctgg attcatcgac 2351 tgtggccggc tgggtgtggc ggaccgctat caggacatag cgttggctac 2401 ccgtgatatt gctgaagagc ttggcggcga atgggctgac cgcttcctcg 2451 tgctttacgg tatcgccgct cccgattcgc agcgcatcgc cttctatcgc 2501 cttcttgacg agttcttctg agggatccga taaaataaaa gattttattt 2551 agtctccaga aaaagggggg aatgaaagac cccacctgta ggtttggcaa 2601 gctagcttaa gtaacgccat tttgcaaggc atggaaaata cataactgag 2651 aatagagaag ttcagatcaa ggttaggaac agagagacag cagaatatgg 2701 gccaaacagg atatctgtgg taagcagttc ctgccccggc tcagggccaa 2751 gaacagatgg tccccagatg cggtcccgcc ctcagcagtt tctagagaac 2801 catcagatgt ttccagggtg ccccaaggac ctgaaaatga ccctgtgcct 2851 tatttgaact aaccaatcag ttcgcttctc gcttctgttc gcgcgcttct 2901 gctccccgag ctcaataaaa gagcccacaa cccctcactc ggcgcgccag 2951 tcctccgata gactgcgtcg cccgggtacc cgtgtatcca ataaaccctc 3001 ttgcagttgc atccgacttg tggtctcgct gttccttggg agggtctcct 3051 ctgagtgatt gactacccgt cagcgggggt ctttcatggg taacagtttc 3101 ttgaagttgg agaacaacat tctgagggta ggagtcgaat attaagtaat 3151 cctgactcaa ttagccactg ttttgaatcc acatactcca atactcctga 3201 aatccatcga tggagttcat tatggacagc gcagaaagag ctggggagaa 3251 ttgtgaaatt gttatccgct cacaattcca cacaacatac gagccggaag 3301 cataaagtgt aaagcctggg gtgcctaatg agtgagctaa ctcacattaa 3351 ttgcgttgcg ctcactgccc gctttccagt cgggaaacct gtcgtgccag 3401 ctgcattaat gaatcggcca acgcgcgggg agaggcggtt tgcgtattgg 3451 gcgctcttcc gcttcctcgc tcactgactc gctgcgctcg gtcgttcggc 3501 tgcggcgagc ggtatcagct cactcaaagg cggtaatacg gttatccaca 3551 gaatcagggg ataacgcagg aaagaacatg tgagcaaaag gccagcaaaa 3601 ggccaggaac cgtaaaaagg ccgcgttgct ggcgtttttc cataggctcc 3651 gcccccctga cgagcatcac aaaaatcgac gctcaagtca gaggtggcga 3701 aacccgacag gactataaag ataccaggcg tttccccctg gaagctccct 3751 cgtgcgctct cctgttccga ccctgccgct taccggatac ctgtccgcct 3801 ttctcccttc gggaagcgtg gcgctttctc atagctcacg ctgtaggtat 3851 ctcagttcgg tgtaggtcgt tcgctccaag ctgggctgtg tgcacgaacc 3901 ccccgttcag cccgaccgct gcgccttatc cggtaactat cgtcttgagt 3951 ccaacccggt aagacacgac ttatcgccac tggcagcagc cactggtaac 4001 aggattagca gagcgaggta tgtaggcggt gctacagagt tcttgaagtg 4051 gtggcctaac tacggctaca ctagaaggac agtatttggt atctgcgctc 4101 tgctgaagcc agttaccttc ggaaaaagag ttggtagctc ttgatccggc 4151 aaacaaacca ccgctggtag cggtggtttt tttgtttgca agcagcagat 4201 tacgcgcaga aaaaaaggat ctcaagaaga tcctttgatc ttttctacgg 4251 ggtctgacgc tcagtggaac gaaaactcac gttaagggat tttggtcatg 4301 agattatcaa aaaggatctt cacctagatc cttttaaatt aaaaatgaag 4351 ttttaaatca atctaaagta tatatgagta aacttggtct gacagttacc 4401 aatgcttaat cagtgaggca cctatctcag cgatctgtct atttcgttca 4451 tccatagttg cctgactccc cgtcgtgtag ataactacga tacgggaggg 4501 cttaccatct ggccccagtg ctgcaatgat accgcgagac ccacgctcac 4551 cggctccaga tttatcagca ataaaccagc cagccggaag ggccgagcgc 4601 agaagtggtc ctgcaacttt atccgcctcc atccagtcta ttaattgttg 4651 ccgggaagct agagtaagta gttcgccagt taatagtttg cgcaacgttg 4701 ttgccattgc tacaggcatc gtggtgtcac gctcgtcgtt tggtatggct 4751 tcattcagct ccggttccca acgatcaagg cgagttacat gatcccccat 4801 gttgtgcaaa aaagcggtta gctccttcgg tcctccgatc gttgtcagaa 4851 gtaagttggc cgcagtgtta tcactcatgg ttatggcagc actgcataat 4901 tctcttactg tcatgccatc cgtaagatgc ttttctgtga ctggtgagta 4951 ctcaaccaag tcattctgag aatagtgtat gcggcgaccg agttgctctt 5001 gcccggcgtc aatacgggat aataccgcgc cacatagcag aactttaaaa 5051 gtgctcatca ttggaaaacg ttcttcgggg cgaaaactct caaggatctt 5101 accgctgttg agatccagtt cgatgtaacc cactcgtgca cccaactgat 5151 cttcagcatc ttttactttc accagcgttt ctgggtgagc aaaaacagga 5201 aggcaaaatg ccgcaaaaaa gggaataagg gcgacacgga aatgttgaat 5251 actcatactc ttcctttttc aatattattg aagcatttat cagggttatt 5301 gtctcatgag cggatacata tttgaatgta tttagaaaaa taaacaaata 5351 ggggttccgc gcacatttcc ccgaaaagtg ccacctgacg tctaagaaac 5401 cattattatc atgacattaa cctataaaaa taggcgtatc acgaggccct 5451 ttcgtctcgc gcgtttcggt gatgacggtg aaaacctctg acacatgcag 5501 ctcccggaga cggtcacagc ttgtctgtaa gcggatgccg ggagcagaca 5551 agcccgtcag ggcgcgtcag cgggtgttgg cgggtgtcgg ggctggctta 5601 actatgcggc atcagagcag attgtactga gagtgcacca tatgcggtgt 5651 gaaataccgc acagatgcgt aaggagaaaa taccgcatca ggcgccattc 5701 gccattcagg ctgcgcaact gttgggaagg gcgatcggtg cgggcctctt 5751 cgctattacg ccagctggcg aaagggggat gtgctgcaag gcgattaagt 5801 tgggtaacgc cagggttttc ccagtcacga cgttgtaaaa cgacggccag 5851 tgccacgctc tcccttatgc gactcctgca ttaggaagca gcccagtagt 5901 aggttgaggc cgttgagcac cgccgccgca aggaatggtg catgcaagga 5951 gatggcgccc aacagtcccc cggccacggg gcctgccacc atacccacgc 6001 cgaaacaagc gctcatgagc ccgaagtggc gagcccgatc ttccccatcg 6051 gtgatgtcgg cgatataggc gccagcaacc gcacctgtgg cgccggtgat 6101 gccggccacg atgcgtccgg cgtagaggcg atttaaagac aggatatcag 6151 tggtccaggc tctagttttg actcaacaat atcaccagct gaagcctata 6201 gagtacgagc catagataaa ataaaagatt ttatttagtc tccagaaaaa 6251 ggggggaatg aaagacccca cctgtaggtt tggcaagcta gcttaagtaa 6301 cgccattttg caaggcatgg aaaatacata actgagaata gagaagttca 6351 gatcaaggtt aggaacagag agacagcaga atatgggcca aacaggatat 6401 ctgtggtaag cagttcctgc cccggctcag ggccaagaac agatggtccc 6451 cagatgcggt cccgccctca gcagtttcta gagaaccatc agatgtttcc 6501 agggtgcccc aaggacctga aaatgaccct gtgccttatt tgaactaacc 6551 aatcagttcg cttctcgctt ctgttcgcgc gcttctgctc cccgagctca 6601 ataaaagagc ccacaacccc tcactcggcg cgccagtcct ccgatagact 6651 gcgtcgcccg ggtacccgta ttcccaataa agcctcttgc tgtttgcatc 6701 cgaatcgtgg actcgctgat ccttgggagg gtctcctcag attgattgac 6751 tgcccacctc gggggtcttt catttggagg ttccaccgag atttggagac 6801 ccctgcctag ggaccaccga cccccccgcc gggaggtaag ctggccagcg 6851 gtcgtttcgt gtctgtctct gtctttgtgc gtgtttgtgc cggcatctaa 6901 tgtttgcgcc tgcgtctgta ctagttagct aactagctct gtatctggcg 6951 gacccgtggt ggaactgacg agttcggaac acccggccgc aaccctggga 7001 gacgtcccag ggacttcggg ggccgttttt gtggcccgac ctgagtccaa 7051 aaatcccgat cgttttggac tctttggtgc acccccctta gaggagggat 7101 atgtggttct ggtaggagac gagaacctaa aacagttccc gcctccgtct 7151 gaatttttgc tttcggtttg ggaccgaagc cgcgccgcgc gtcttgtctg 7201 ctgcagcatc gttctgtgtt gtctctgtct gactgtgttt ctgtatttgt 7251 ctgagaatat gggcccgggc tagcctgtta ccactccctt aagtttgacc 7301 ttaggtcact ggaaagatgt cgagcggatc gctcacaacc agtcggtaga 7351 tgtcaagaag agacgttggg ttaccttctg ctctgcagaa tggccaacct 7401 ttaacgtcgg atggccgcga gacggcacct ttaaccgaga cctcatcacc 7451 caggttaaga tcaaggtctt ttcacctggc ccgcatggac acccagacca 7501 ggtcccctac atcgtgacct gggaagcctt ggcttttgac ccccctccct 7551 gggtcaagcc ctttgtacac cctaagcctc cgcctcctct tcctccatcc 7601 gccccgtctc tcccccttga acctcctcgt tcgaccccgc ctcgatcctc 7651 cctttatcca gccctcactc cttctctagg cgccnnnnca tatgagatct 7701 tatatggggc acccccgccc cttgtaaact tccctgaccc tgacatgaca 7751 agagttacta acagcccctc tctccaagct cacttacagg ctctctactt 7801 agtccagcac gaagtctgga gacctctggc ggcagcctac caagaacaac 7851 tggaccgacc ggtggtacct cacccttacc gagtcggcga cacagtgtgg 7901 gtccgccgac accagactaa gaacctagaa cctcgctgga aaggacctta 7951 cacagtcctg ctgaccaccc ccaccgccct caaagtagac ggcatcgcag 8001 cttggataca cgccgcccac gtgaaggctg ccgaccccgg gggtggacca 8051 tcctctagac cg.

Thus, cells described herein (which may be used in the compositions and methods of the invention) may express gene products having sequences substantially identical to SEQ ID NOs:1 and 4, SEQ ID NOs:1 and 6, SEQ ID NOs:4 and 6, or SEQ ID NOs:1, 4 and 6, as defined herein.

In addition, it is to be understood, that due to the degeneracy of the genetic code, additional equivalent nucleic acid sequences may be used to express the corresponding polypeptide products.

For example, a nucleic acid sequence encoding a 41-BBL protein of SEQ ID NO: 6 may also be represented by SEQ ID NO: 14, as follows:

(SEQ ID NO: 14) atggaatatgcatccgatgcctcccttgaccctgaagcaccttggcctcc cgcccccagagcacgagcttgtagagttctcccttgggcccttgtcgctg gacttctccttctcctccttctcgccgccgcctgtgcagtgttccttgca tgtccttgggccgtttctggtgccagagcctcacctggaagtgcagcatc tccccgacttcgcgaaggtccagaactttcccccgatgatcctgccggac tccttgacttgcgccaaggcatgtttgctcagctcgtagcacagaatgtc ctcctcattgacggtcccctttcatggtattctgatccaggcctcgctgg cgtttcccttactggcggtctgtcctataaagaagataccaaagaacttg tcgttgctaaggccggtgtttactacgttttttttcagctcgaactccgc agagtcgtcgccggcgaaggatccggttctgttagtctcgcacttcatct ccagcccctcagatcagccgcaggagctgccgccctcgccctcactgttg acctcccacctgcctcctcagaagctagaaattccgcgtttggttttcag ggaagactccttcatctgtccgctggccaacgattgggtgtccatctcca taccgaagctcgcgcgcgacacgcatggcaactcacacagggcgctactg tacttggcctctttagagtaacacccgaaattcctgccggtttgccctcc ccccgatccgaataa.

For the generation of an exemplary pcDNA3.1-4-1BBL-Hygro+ plasmid, the 4-1BBL full-length cDNA containing the 4-1BBL optimized reading frame with HindIII and NotI restriction sites in 3′ and 5′-ends (SEQ ID NO: 14) was cloned into HindIII and NotI unique restriction sites of pcDNA3.1+ Hygro (Invitrogen). Following transfection, expression of surface 4-1BBL was confirmed by FACS staining with 4-1BBL-specific mAb (clone 5F4).

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The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without undue experimentation and without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. The means, materials, and steps for carrying out various disclosed functions may take a variety of alternative forms without departing from the invention.

Claims

1. A tumor cell line selected from the group consisting of: wherein said cell line is engineered to stably express at least one additional exogenous HLA and/or co-stimulatory molecule for T cells, selected from the group consisting of: HLA-A2, 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL) and HLA-B35.

a) a cell line expressing the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) antigens A24, A33, B35, B49 and CW04/12, and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3;
b) a cell line expressing the HLA antigens A2, A24, A33, B35, B49 and CW04/12, and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3;
c) a cell line expressing the HLA antigens A2/24, and B35, and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO;
d) a cell line expressing the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01 and DRB104, and the tumor associated antigens PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1; and
e) a cell line expressing the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, and DRB1, and the tumor associated antigens CEA, Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec,

2. The tumor cell line of claim 1, stably expressing 4-1BBL.

3. The tumor cell line of claim 2, stably expressing 4-1BBL and at least one of HLA-B35 and HLA-A2.

4. The tumor cell line of claim 1, wherein said cell line is a melanoma cell line expressing the HLA antigens A24, A33, B35, B49 and CW04/12, and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3.

5. The tumor cell line of claim 1, wherein said cell line is a melanoma cell line expressing the HLA antigens A2, A24, A33, B35, B49 and CW04/12, and the tumor associated antigens GD3, S-100, gp 100, Melan A/MART-I, HMW, MSCA, CD146, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3.

6. The tumor cell line of claim 1, wherein said cell line is a melanoma cell line expressing the HLA antigens A2/24, and B35, and the tumor associated antigens S-100, GD3, MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO.

7. The tumor cell line of claim 1, wherein said cell line is a lung metastasis carcinoma cell line expressing the HLA antigens A26, A28, B14, B35, DRB01 and DRB104, and the tumor associated antigens PAN cytokeratin, CEA, MAGE, and MUC-1.

8. The tumor cell line of claim 1, wherein said cell line is an ovary carcinoma cell line expressing the HLA antigens A03/25, B08/18, and DRB1, and the tumor associated antigens CEA, Ca-125-sec and CEA-sec.

9. An immunogenic composition comprising as an active ingredient at least one tumor cell line as defined in claim 1.

10. A method for treating, ameliorating, or reducing cancer in a mammalian subject, the method comprising administering to said subject a therapeutically effective amount of the immunogenic composition of claim 9, wherein said at least one tumor cell line expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein said subject expresses the B35 HLA allele.

12. A method of enhancing an immune response to a tumor in a subject in need thereof, said method comprising administering to the subject an immunogenic composition according to claim 9, thereby enhancing the immune response in said subject, wherein said at least one tumor cell line expresses at least one HLA allele identical to the HLA alleles of said subject.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein said subject expresses the B35 HLA allele.

Referenced Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

5882654 March 16, 1999 Morton
20100055136 March 4, 2010 Stathopoulos
20100119537 May 13, 2010 Podack

Foreign Patent Documents

2 404 6 4 January 2012 EP
2 404 614 January 2012 EP
90/03183 April 1990 WO
02/053176 July 2002 WO

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Patent History

Patent number: 10064927
Type: Grant
Filed: Feb 23, 2016
Date of Patent: Sep 4, 2018
Patent Publication Number: 20160175416
Assignee: Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development Ltd. (Jerusalem)
Inventors: Tamar Peretz (Jerusalem), Michal Lotem (Reut), Arthur Machlenkin (Mazkeret Batya), Shoshana Frankenburg (Jerusalem), Inna Ben David (Jerusalem), Anna Kuznetz (Jerusalem), Yael Gelfand (Givat Ze'ev), Galit Eisenberg (Modiin), Merav Darash Yahana (Jerusalem)
Primary Examiner: Karen A. Canella
Application Number: 15/051,205

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Non/e
International Classification: A61K 39/00 (20060101); C12N 5/09 (20100101); C12Q 1/6886 (20180101); G01N 33/574 (20060101);